Menton Lemon Festival

Menton Lemon Festival
The Menton Lemon Festival is held every February in the town of Menton, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France. It is one of the most anticipated events in the region that attracts thousands of tourists from all over the country and abroad. For about three weeks every year, Menton is transformed into the lemon capital of the world.

Menton is located on the French Riviera. Due to its closeness to the Mediterranean Sea, it boasts a warm micro-climate favorable to growing lemons. It is one of Europe’s largest lemon-growing regions, no wonder that the town hosts a unique festival dedicated to lemons.

The history of the Menton Lemon Festival dates back to 1895, when a group of local hoteliers decided to organize a parade to boost tourism in the region. The Mardi Gras parade became an additional attraction to wealthy people who wanted to spend the winter months in the mild climate of the French Riviera.

In 1928, a local hotelier came up with the idea of organizing a citrus fruit and flower exhibition in the gardens of the Hôtel Riviera. The exhibition was a real success, and the following year it expanded to include a parade. Finally, in 1935 the municipality officially established the Lemon Festival which has since become the trademark event of the region.

Today’s Lemon Festival is a unique event featuring a dazzling exhibition of citrus sculptures in the Biovès Gardens, daytime and nighttime parades, light shows, and more. Each edition of the festival is dedicated to a specific theme chosen by the organizing committee. Past themes have included Viva España, India, Disney, Neverland, and Broadway.

The exhibition of citrus sculptures is one of the festival’s main highlights. Talented artists create huge statues specifically for the festival and cover them with thousands of citrus fruit. Every Sunday, the Golden Fruit Parade is held downtown. The parade floats are decorated with lemons and other citrus fruit. They move along the sea coast, accompanied by performers in vibrant yellow and orange costumes, marching bands and folk groups.

Nighttime parades are just spectacular as the daytime Golden Fruit Parade. The citrus floats are illuminated with lights and firecrackers. Dancers and musicians create a festive atmosphere, and the parade soon transforms into a street party. Nighttime parades are followed by light performances in the Biovès Gardens and firework displays.

Menton Lemon Festival




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