Our French visitors arrived from Noirmoutier, France on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport to a reception hosted by the Okaloosa County Airports. Amid French flag waving, host families and their guests were soon paired up and enjoying refreshments.

On Thursday afternoon, the Greater Federation Woman's Club of Crestview hosted a Southern cuisine luncheon for our French visitors. It included delicious chicken and dumplings. This is the 100th anniversary of Crestview women getting together to bring culture and civility to the town. In 1918, the ladies formed the Woman's Club and eventually joined the GFWC. Twenty years ago, the GFWC of Crestview hosted the first delegation of French visitors with a luncheon; they were happy to welcome this year's visitors on the 20th anniversary of friendship between the two cities. 

That evening, Beach Community Bank hosted a Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce Business after-hours reception. Many of the French visitors attended and enjoyed meeting Crestview's business community. An enjoyable, relaxed atmosphere meeting new friends and catching up with old friends was had by all attendees.

Friday morning and afternoon, Crestview dignitaries received French dignitaries from municipalities on the Island of Noirmoutier. A delicious luncheon was hosted by the Crestview City Council, mayor and city clerk and held at the Durrell Peaden Jr. Education Center headed by Dr. LaRose-Pierre. This luncheon was followed by a tour of city services and facilities.

Friday evening brought the "Spirits of Crestview" walk, a Crestview Centennial event that was a historic interpretation of Crestview's early influential leaders and citizens. View from the Stage, Crestview's Community Theatre group, presented the drama. Following this informative and moving performance, many of the guests and host families ate dinner on Main Street.

The spectacular Evening in the Garden, a scholarship fundraiser, will be held 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 at Northwest Florida State College’s Crestview campus. This promises to be a fun evening under the stars and a chance to get to know our French guests. Tickets cost $45 each, in advance, or $60 at the door. If you would like to purchase tickets, you may call 683-1247 or purchase tickets at the college campus.

Plan to attend; you will enjoy yourself.

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.