PARIS, Ky. (FOX 56) – Friday afternoon, Paris, Kentucky celebrated with a ribbon cutting of its own Eiffel Tower. Although it’s more than a thousand feet smaller than the original, city officials hope the replica will boost tourism and the downtown economy.
Kentucky’s version is built to scale of the original. It stands 20 feet tall, made of steel, and will be lit up at night for all to see. But this one’s slightly different— horseshoes, representing the rich thoroughbred history of Paris.
Mayor John Plummer has visited his Sister City across the pond.
“I like the Eiffel Tower over there, but I really like this Eiffel Tower here,” Mayor Plummer said.
The hope is this structure will boost tourism, and it’s already had visitors from Wisconsin and Tennessee.
“These small towns need money we’re doing everything to bring these tourists in here,” Mayor Plummer said.
But one shop owner says downtown needs more.
“It’s going to take a lot more than one thing like an Eiffel Tower to give a boost to any area, any city, but we welcome this is as a symbol for more things to come,” Café Marco owner Arthur Newberry said.
But on personal side the French connection is closer than you think.
“My mom and dad met in Paris, France and moved to Paris, Kentucky,” Christal Cassagnie said.
Cassagnie, born and raised here, a Parisian through and through. While visiting her dad’s home country she took a trip up the original Eiffel Tower.
“Authentic, much larger, beautiful,” Cassagnie said. “This is nice too for the little town of Paris.”
Her father, Allen Cassagnie died of a heart condition in 2019. She says her dad would be have been honored to have this in his adopted Paris.
“I think he would think it was really neat and represent his country and he would be proud,” Cassagnie said.
The mayor hopes to invite some Paris, France city officials over for a visit. He says they’ve been here before to check out horses.