The 1,305 residents of Laurens are about to see the benefit of friendship with the French - free wine.
The 11-member delegation from Laurens, France, traveled to their Iowa namesake this week and will present the wine to residents this weekend. The wine giveaway is the most unusual of the activities planned to mark the Iowa town's 125th birthday.
"They picked us over Laurens, South Carolina, because of the movie 'The Straight Story' ," says Julie Wurr, organizer of the first Laurens Wine Festival.
Word that the French delegation would present residents with five varieties of red wine from the Faugeres region - valued at $35 a bottle or more - surprised their hosts. "I was floored when I found out," said Mayor Peter Hong.
A private dinner with a wine expert will be held at BVU.