Visit the City of Lemons during Menton?s Fête du Citron

25th January, 2016
From February 13th to March 2nd, the French Riviera town of Menton comes to life and transforms into the ?City of Lemons? during its famous annual event, the Fête du Citron or Lemon Festival, now in its 83rd edition.

Over the years, Menton has become synonymous with the citrus fruits thanks to the festival and other local traditions, with the symbol now having been adopted as the town?s official symbol. 

Every year, over 200,000 visitors from around the world flock to Menton for the festival, which becomes home to over 145 tonnes of citrus fruit, including not only lemons but also tangerines, blood oranges, grapefruit, limes and kumquats among others. The fruit is made into gigantic spectacular sculptures which can be found throughout the town, bringing a new dimension of colour to the streets with bright yellows and oranges.

One of the highlights of the festival is the Parade of Golden Fruit, or the Promenade du Soleil, where a procession of cars and people parade towards the sea in a fanfare of costumes, drumming, fanfare and confetti, with oranges and lemons given out in abundance to the crowds of spectators. By night, the festival celebrates the Moonlit Parade, with fireworks and celebrations galore as night falls, and at Jardins Biovès, the displays of fruit are lit up creating a dazzling scene of light and colour.

Each year, the festival also has its own theme, with this year?s theme being Cinecitta, celebrating the famous studios recognised as the hub of Italian cinema.

If you?re looking for something new to do on your French chateau holidays, visiting the Fête du Citron is a great way to get involved with a long-standing French tradition as well as seeing a new side to the French Riviera.

Image: Saskia Heijtjes, available under Creative Commons