March 5, 2012
1 La Fete du Citron 2012
2 La Fete du Citron 2012
3 La Fete du Citron 2012
Southern France was once again been invaded by citrus fruits, as Menton celebrated its traditional lemon festival earlier this month.
The 79th addition of the festival was not only a celebration of lemons, but also a celebration of France as the theme was ‘regions of France’.
The patriotic theme was demonstrated through the traditional sculptures, made up of around 145 ton of lemons and oranges. This year’s citrus fruit creations included a bottle of champagne, a stork and a Parisian Metro station sign.
La fete du Citron (as it is known in France) originated in 1929 when Menton became Europe’s premier producer of lemons. The local Hotel Riviera launched the festival to celebrate the first flowering of the citrus fruits.
The celebration also includes wagons that parade through the streets with a variety of entertainment. It is well known for being a unique event and attracts around 230,000 visitors a year.
2012’s festival is running from 17th February – 7th March, and highlights included the “Corso des fruits d’or” – The golden fruits parade that runs along the Promenade du Soleil with floats decorated in lemons and oranges, as well as moving figures.
In between each float there was also musical bands, folk groups and majorettes to entertain the crowds. The Evening Parade followed this at around 10pm with its dazzling light display and grand finale of fireworks from the Bay of the Bastion.
The exhibition of the lemon and orange sculptures is perhaps the most attention-grabbing part of the whole festival, with giant sculptures filling the Biovès Garden. The exhibition is usually open to the public daily during the event, opening from 9am – 6pm on weekdays and 9am – 7pm on the weekends.
The Biovès Gardens also hosted an evening event called “Les Jardins de Lumière”, where visitors enjoyed a magical show of sound and lights surrounded by the lemon sculptures