Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Menton Lemon Festival

Menton Lemon Festival

Menton is located on the Franco-Italian border, within the confines of the Côte d’Azur and the Ligurian Alps. It boasts a warm micro-climate favorable to lemon, tangerine, and orange groves.

The fishing industry was devastated in the 1980s and 1990s when the “killer algae” Caulerpa taxifolia spread throughout the coastal sea floor, greatly reducing local fish populations.

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands1 Menton Lemon Festival

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands11 Menton Lemon Festival

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands21 Menton Lemon Festival

Menton’s February carnival festival of lemons, annually since the end of the 19th century and still exciting and fun, with a 2009 theme of Music of the World. The 3-week event has a daily Citrus Exposition, parades on Sundays, Corsos Nocturnes with fireworks on Thursday nights, and Jardins de lumières on Fridays.

The idea is citrus, the colors are yellow and orange, and the mood is festive. Menton, tucked along the coast next to Italy, becomes more animated than usual the second half of every February with the Fête du Citron.

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands2 Menton Lemon Festival

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands3 Menton Lemon Festival

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands4 Menton Lemon Festival

Every day of the festival period the Jardin Biovès in the center of town hosts the Expositions d’agrumes (Citrus Expositions). The normally open Jardin Biovès is walled off for the festival and an entrance fee (€9 in 2009) is required. The long, narrow garden is full of large, intricate creations, somewhat like static parade floats built mainly from citrus fruits.

Beyond was there for opening day in 2009, with the annual theme Musiques du Monde (Music of the World). Separate displays depicted classical, African, Polka and Tango. The appropriate music plays in the vicinity of each display, and some types of music enticed the slowly wandering visitors to spontaniously dance along with the music.

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands6 Menton Lemon Festival

The French Can-Can being played by the large yellow Moulin Rouge was popular, and a favorite place for having one’s photos taken in front of. In our casual analysis, the Rock and Roll exhibit of a large jukebox wasn’t that great, but the music was the most popular for spontaneous dancing along.

Not quite static, the artistic creations of lemons and oranges included rotating windmill blades for the Moulin Rouge and a turning paddle wheel in real water for the Dixieland steamboat.

The Expositions d’agrumes had a few stands selling local citrus-based products and refreshments.

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands7 Menton Lemon Festival

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands8 Menton Lemon Festival

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands9 Menton Lemon Festival

The Corsos des fruits d’or (the Parade of Golden Fruits) are held on a route through the town every Sunday, early afternoon. Tribunes, both along the seaside and on the inside streets, are available, or you can stand with the crowds and try to get a look.

Corsos nocturnes (Night parades) are held on two of the Thursday nights, including the parade, dancers and terminating with fireworks.

Jardins de lumières (Gardens of Light). On the Thursday nights of the festival, the expostion inside the Jardin Biovès is lighted and animated with dancers.

All of the events have their price, including the Expositions d’Agrumes in the Jardin Biovès. Tickets are available for entry into the Jardin at the garden. Tickets for all the events are available at the Office de Tourisme, located a couple of blocks up Ave Boyer, along the eastern side of the Jardin Biovès.

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands10 Menton Lemon Festival

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands12 Menton Lemon Festival

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands13 Menton Lemon Festival

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands14 Menton Lemon Festival

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands15 Menton Lemon Festival

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands18 Menton Lemon Festival

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands19 Menton Lemon Festival

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands20 Menton Lemon Festival

Orangery Festival in the Netherlands22 Menton Lemon Festival


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  1. avatar comment-top

    Looks like a great event!
    Wonderful pictures!

  2. avatar
    Jan de Rijbel Says:
    March 4th, 2009 at 9:57 PM

    The description is okay.


  3. avatar comment-top

    Even though these sculptures are amazing, I can’t seem to get excited about art made out of thousands of nutritious fruits that had to be shipped across continents (in big diesel trucks and freighters) and could have been better used to give essential basic nutrition to starving children all over the world.

    I know it’s a joy kill, but I would assume that dying of starvation before your fifth birthday is too.

  4. avatar comment-top

    Nice pictures of the Menton Fête du Citron.

  5. avatar
    Ajamhalimapa Says:
    March 6th, 2009 at 12:09 AM

    Im am from a poor country, this food would have fed all my village for a year ! you people should be ashamed ! Regards, Ajamhalimapa

  6. avatar comment-top

    I am with you, Ajamhalimapa! You tell em´. Tell those capitalistic oranginos, DO IT NOW.

  7. avatar
    Ågehugoviggo Says:
    March 20th, 2009 at 8:58 PM

    If you’re so poor, how can you afford internet, electricity and a computer? Thought so.

  8. avatar comment-top

    Naranjas y Limones…

    Fantásticas fotos de lo que hacen en Holanda con unos cuantos kilos de naranjas y limones….

  9. avatar comment-top

    Ågehugoviggo – ta dig sammen, mand!

  10. avatar
    Not impressed Says:
    March 23rd, 2009 at 12:53 AM

    skulle likt å se dem lage disse figurene av maneter

  11. avatar
    Daybreaker » Blog Archive » Weekly 02 Says:
    April 5th, 2009 at 3:15 AM

    Festival Did you know there is a lemon festival? It is amazing how beautiful things one can make with some lemons

  12. avatar comment-top

    What a wicked waste of food . Would be far better to make sculptures of old cans which could be recycled after the event, not nutricious fruit which could be life giving sustenance for some of the world’s malnourishec

  13. avatar comment-top



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