Bethany set to honor its ties with French sister city
The Town of Bethany Beach will observe the anniversary of its “twinning” with the town of Périers, France, with a commemorative program, special museum display and other events on Friday, July 27.
The date of July 27 was specially chosen to honor the ties between the town in Normandy and Americans, as a tribute to the liberation of the town of Pèriers from German control on July 27, 1944, by the 2nd Battalion, 359th Infantry Regiment, 90th Division, of the United States Army.
To this day, the citizens of Pèriers warmly welcome Americans out of respect for their liberators those many decades ago. One such welcome was granted to Bethany Beach Town Councilman Joe Healy in his visit to Pèriers last year. Healy’s account of his welcome in Pèriers is just one of many highlights of the event planned for July 27.
Leading up to the event, the town has been decorated with French flags and memorial posters evoking the significance of the event, and those attending on July 27 will find themselves surrounded by two histories: French and American, intertwining to create a “friendship across the ocean.”
The town museum now houses displays of pictures, stories and accounts of Pèriers and Bethany Beach, organized by the Bethany Beach Cultural and Historic Affairs Committee, which has also invited local restaurants to offer some French-style foods on that day. At the Parkway, Frenched rack of lamb and a white chocolate and vanilla crème brulée will be on offer. At the Frog House, those with a taste for French food can partake in a classic croquet monsieur. At Bethany Blues, they’ll find coquille St. Jacques.
The French-themed festivities will focus on the boardwalk bandstand that night, with an evening extravaganza. Beginning at 7 p.m., the committee will open the event with a brief introduction of not only the show, but also the importance and historical significance of July 27 for Bethany Beach and its sister city of Pèriers.
The playing of the French national anthem will follow, leading into Healy’s detailed narrative of his time in France and the impact it had on his perception of Bethany’s twin city. Wrapping up the evening is a performance by the U.S. Navy Cruisers rock band, in a nod to the nation’s military on a day that celebrates the international ties sparked by the efforts of U.S. forces 68 years ago.