The formal ceremony for the twinning of Newton Stewart and the French town of Marcoussis is now just over a week away.
Cree Valley Community Council and Newton Stewart and District Town Twinning Association are now putting the finishing touches to the programme of activities to celebrate the event.
A group of nineteen from Marcoussis, headed by the mayor of the town and his family along with representatives of their own twinning organisation, will arrive in Galloway on Thursday, 31st October.
Local schoolchildren will take the lead on Friday, 1st November with a morning visit to Wigtown School.
The rest of the day will be spent in Newton Stewart.
An afternoon concert in Penninghame School will showcase the talents of pupils from that school and the Douglas Ewart.
In the evening Dumfries & Galloway Council will host a civic reception and buffet in the McMillan Hall where the Mayor of Marcoussis and the Chairman of Cree Valley Community Council will sign the formal twinning agreement.
Saturday will start with a morning visit to Creetown Gem Rock Museum. In the afternoon, thanks to funding from the Burns’ Trust, the visitors will travel on by coach to Dumfries to see the Robert Burns Centre.
Chairman of the Newton Stewart Twinning Association, Meta Maltman, said: “Marcoussis has a music school and is the centre for the French national rugby team, as well as being an attractive town in its own right and conveniently placed for trips to Paris or Versailles.
“We are particularly proud of the fact that many of our young people have also played a part in fund raising for the weekend’s activities. We’d like to build a strong foundation for supporting the twinning remain into the future. “Guests at the civic reception will include our friends from France, among them the Mayor of Marcoussis, as well as hosts for the past and present twinning visits and the organisations and individuals who have sponsored or helped the Committee of our Twinning Association in any way.
“We very much hope to capitalise on having all our supporters together in once place to get more local people to take an active part in taking the twinning process forward. We feel there are lots of opportunities for forging closer links that will benefit both out communities.”
Cree Valley Community Council Chairman John McNaught said: “It’s great to see the twinning process coming to fruition after many years of hard work from the twinning committees on both sides of the Channel.
“A lot for hard work has been put in by many people to bring this about and none more so than Meta, who has championed the process throughout.
“This will be good for not just Newton Stewart, but the whole area.”