From lively parades to exhibitions of citrus patterns, Menton celebrates its golden fruit from February 15 to March 3, 2020. On the theme of world festivals, this edition will put carnivals and other festive traditions in the spotlight on the Côte d’Azur.
With 140 tonnes (308,647 lbs.) of citrus, 18 tonnes (39,683 lbs.) of fruit per pattern, 8 km (5 miles) of garlands and 400 participants, over 20 days with a zest of madness, Menton celebrates fruit that made her famous.
This year, the city on the Côte d'Azur has placed the 87th edition of its signature event under the flag of world festivals. Thus, the 10 floats decorated with citrus fruits that will parade through the festival will play their joyful music to the frantic pace of carnivals of the entire world, from New Orleans to Ururo, in Bolivia, or to Tenerife in Spain.
On the seafront, five times a day, day and night, visitors can marvel at their vertiginous structures, their profusion of colors and their wild dancers.
The magic of the decor, day and night
At the Biovès gardens, the Fête du Citron will also honor festive traditions from other places through exhibitions of citrus patterns, inviting you to travel and dream while never leaving the Côte d'Azur. Discover the fascinating universe of the Día de los Muertos in Mexico, be moved by the poetic Lantern Festival in China or vibrate in front of a decor inspired by the precious Venice Carnival.
At nightfall, visitors can enjoy another experience: dreamlike stroll between games of light and enchanting music in the same skillfully lit gardens.
Menton will also schedule shows, concerts and street entertainment during the 20 days of the event.
The biggest citrus festival
An exhibition of flowers and citrus fruits in the gardens of the Riviera Palace Hotel in 1928 began Menton's love affair with its golden fruit. The Citrus Festival was officially created in 1934, with the first parade taking place the following year. At the time, the event was to bring the city on the Côte d’Azur into a new tourist era as the end of the Belle Époque and the decreasing attendance of wealthy winter visitors approached.
The cultivation of lemons has marked the history of the city: exported throughout the world in the 16th century, the yellow citrus fruit is now recognized by a PGI and symbolizes the sunny city.
Every year in mid-February, in the middle of the lemon season, Menton pays tribute to it with exhibitions of citrus patterns in the Biovès gardens, illuminated at night, and day and night parades of floats made of citrus. Each edition has a theme and is accompanied by shows, concerts and street entertainment.