The Lemon Festival in Menton

fete des citrons menton

The Lemon Festival is a unique event that attracts more than 200,000 visitors each year.

Lemon festival program:

86a Fête du Citron® – “des mondes fantastiques” (Fantastic worlds)

from 16 February to 3 March 2019

BENEATH THE ZEST OF ORANGES AND LEMONS LIES ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST FESTIVALS

La Fête du Citron® (Lemon Festival), an unique event in the world, attracts 240,000 visitors every year – a number which is constantly rising. With processions of floats, gardens of lights and the exhibition of giant designs, come and discover this fantasy world, and move to the rhythm of a simply unforgettable event. More than 300 professionals work on the project and 145 tons of citrus fruits are used.

The main events

  • Saturday 16 February at 11.00 am: Opening of the 86th Fête du Citron®
  • Saturday 16 February at 2.00 pm : Opening of the Exhibition of Citrus patterns
  • Saturday 16 February, 8.30 pm : Les Jardins de Lumières (The Gardens of Lights)
  • Sunday 17 February, 2.30 pm : Golden Fruit Parade
  • Thursday 21 February, 9 pm : The night-time parade, (followed by fireworks)
  • Friday 22 February, 8.30 pm : Les Jardins de Lumières (The Gardens of Lights)
  • Sunday 24 February, 2.30 pm : Golden Fruit Parade
  • Thursday 28 February, 9 pm : The night-time parade, (followed by fireworks)
  • Friday 1 March, 8.30 pm : Les Jardins de Lumières (The Gardens of Lights)
  • Sunday 3 March, 2.30 pm : Golden Fruit Parade

The event in numbers

  • 20 days of festival
  • 240, 000 spectators on average each year
  • 10 floats and 13 decorated displays in the gardens
  • 200 artists (dancers, musicians)
  • 400 participants (warehousemen, cashiers, screening staff)
  • Over 20, 000 hours worked by crews, primarily municipal
  • 12 people in charge of changing any fruit which has deteriorated each day
  • 140 tonnes of citrus fruit for the gardens and floats
  • Up to 18 tonnes of fruit for the most magnificent designs
  • 45 kg of oranges or 30 kg lemons are needed to cover 1 m²
  • 5 tonnes of additional fruit to replace any damaged fruit
  • Over 750,000 elastic bands for attaching the fruit
  • 15 tonnes of steel

The idea of ​​organizing this festival was by the Mentons owner hotels association in 1895 which proposed to the municipallity to create a parade through the town center in winter period. The celebration began the following year and quickly became popular all over the world!

At that time, in fact, had the habit of spending the winter months in French Riviera princes, queens and dignitaries from around the world, for this reason, in a short time, the festival became famous in the international jet-set.

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