The Lemon Festival is a traditional festive event organized by the tourist office, which takes place every year at the end of winter in the city of Menton. City known to be a major European producer of lemon since the mid-fifteenth century. It was still the largest producer of lemon on the continent when in 1928, a hotelier had the idea to organize a private exhibition of citrus and flowers in the gardens of the Riviera hotel with such success that the following year, the municipality adopted it. This festival is interspersed with carnival, carts of shrubs with oranges and lemons parade with the charming women of the city. In 1934, the theme of the carnival was citrus fruit, and so the term “Lemon Festival” was born. Citrus fruits are set in structured wire garlands. More than a hundred people are involved in the preparation for two weeks. At the end of the event, the fruits, of which 90% are in good condition, are sold at low prices. The only years the event did not occur were during the wars. The parade of citrus floats is mixed with confetti, fanfares, dancers and folk groups on the Promenade du Soleil. Each year, a different theme is chosen. It is considered the second most important event of the Côte d’Azur after the carnival of Nice.
Tips It is advisable to make the reservation for your stay sufficiently in advance. The whole city is in celebration and if you want to enjoy it, there are restaurants and bars on the Promenade du Soleil, where you can book your seat and enjoy the parade while drinking something. You can see the parades of groups and other street performers who will parade around the citrus cars. Do not miss the evening because with the lights, you will be doubly surprised.