Menton lemon festival
The Menton lemon festival is held on the traditional carnival date, 40 days before Lent. The Lemon Festival, an event quite unique in the world, attracts each year more than 230,000 visitors – a constantly increasing attendance. It’s the second biggest event on the French Riviera, after the Carnival of Nice and before the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco. It uses the services of over 300 professionals and requires 145 tons of citrus fruit. The Lemon Festival (Fete du Citron) usually takes place between mid-February until March, in Menton, a place in Alps-Maritimes, situated in the beautiful area of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, France. The lemon has become Menton’s symbol, routed in old local traditions with the new motto “My City is a Garden”.
This is one of the largest festivals in the South of France (after the Carnival of Nice), attracting over 250,000 visitors and well, just 145 tonnes of lemons and oranges. The festival has almost always been themed, starting up with the cartoon world in the 90’s: Disney, or Tin Tin, Pinocchio and moving onto the countries of the world in 2005. Spain took the debut theme, followed by Brazil and India. In 2010 the theme is centered around world music, as if the amazing colors were not enough for a spectacle.
There are tens of types of flavorsome and fragrant citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, pomelo, grapefruit, limes, orangelo, tangelo, tangerines, clemenvillas, clementines, etrog, blood orange, kaffir limes, mandarins, mineolas, kumquat. Know more? There are tens more types of citric fruities.
The Lemon festival is organized into a several “sessions”, one more entertaining than the other:
The Parade of Golden Fruit
The “Promenade du soleil” multi-color festival explodes with people, tangerines and orangines, lemons and smiles on a Sunday, when lots of cars and people parade towards the sea. Children love this! Fanfares, Drums, Costumes and sparkles abound in the streets, confetti sprinkling above, happy faces everywhere.
Moonlit Parade. The french say that the fruits of the sun have a date with the moon. As the night falls on the small beautiful city, the calm is just the preparation for the incandescent party that is to follow. Fireworks and celebrations galore, this is a celebration of the sun, with everyone “dancing in the moonlight”.
The citrus “World Tour”. You can travel virtually all corners of the world in citrus flavor, at the The Jardins Bioves.
Gardens of Light. After 8pm or so, beautiful displays of light and citrus fruits emerge at Jardins Bioves, creating a fairytale filled with wonder, colors, sounds and light.