Pinecrest celebrated sister city status with the French village of Cognac on Feb. 15 with day of all things French in Pinecrest Gardens.
Mayor Lerner issued a proclamation honoring the sister city relationship and the celebration lasted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Admission was free and a Frenchthemed concert by the Greater Miami Youth Symphony was the keynote the day, while French crepes by the Crepe Maker were served.
Cognac is typically described by the aroma of flowers, fruits, nuts and spices, and the fragrances are also found in Pinecrest Gardens, making it the perfect place to celebrate the third annual Cognac Day. Only a specific brandy made in the Cognac region of France can lawfully be labeled as cognac, under European Union rules.
The benefits of being a sister city with Cognac include student exchange programs, tourism and business promotions. The first Pinecrest-Cognac exchange students will travel abroad early next year. Pinecrest and Cognac are very similar, both having highly educated populations of about 19,000.
The close relations of the two Villages is the result of a chance meeting of Mayor Lerner and Cognac Mayor Michel Gourinchas and his delegation in 2012 at a luncheon sponsored by the Miami chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, an organization of women leaders in food, wine, hospitality and farming. Lerner invited Gourinchas and his delegation to Pinecrest so that they could learn more about each other. The Village welcomed the French delegation with a proclamation designating Feb. 15 as Cognac Day. Pinecrest’s sister city status with Cognac was formalized in 2013 when Mayor Gourinchas visited the Village again on Cognac Day and signed a formal agreement with Mayor Lerner.