What is the Fête du Citron®?
The Fête du Citron® is an annual event which takes place in Menton, France. During the festival, the streets of the city are covered with large sculptures of fruit and vegetables, made with about 100 tons of lemons and oranges. The Fête du Citron® is a very popular event, attracting around 150,000 visitors each
Things to do in Menton during the Fête du Citron®
Menton, also known as the “pearl of the Mediterranean”, is a French city located in the Alpes-Maritimes department, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. The city overlooks the sea with its golden beach and mild climate, and offers a splendid view of the mountains that surround it. Every year, during the Fête du Citron®, Menton is transformed into a yellow and orange city, thanks to the tens of thousands of lemons and oranges that are displayed on the street.
1. Admire the lemon and orange statues during the festival
The streets of Menton are filled with lemon and orange statues made from around 250,000 fruits. Visitors can admire these beautiful works of art while strolling through the city or during the many parades that take place during the festival.
2. Take part in the parades
The parades are a highlight of the Fête du Citron and are a perfect opportunity to admire the beautiful statues of lemons and oranges. There are two main parades: the Grande Parade, which takes place on Saturdays, and the Parade des Citrons, which takes place on Sundays. The Grande Parade is the most spectacular, with some 300,000 spectators crowding the streets to admire the floats, dancers and street performers. The Parade des Citrons is smaller, but just as spectacular, and also includes a lemon market where visitors can purchase the fresh fruit or by-products.
3. Taste the lemons of Menton
The lemons of Menton are known throughout the world for their quality and their unique flavour. During the festival, visitors have the opportunity to taste these exquisite fruits in different ways: in fresh fruit salad, lemonade syrup or lemon marmalade. Menton lemons are also used in the preparation of various local dishes, such as daube (a soup), salade niçoise (a salad) and tarte au citron (a lemon dessert).
4. Visit of the Bioislet Park
The Bioislet Park is a natural park located in the heart of the city which offers a splendid view of the sea. There are numerous statues of lemons and oranges in the park, and you can also see the park fountain lit up yellow during the festival. The park is open every day during the festival and admission is free.
5. Visit of the Museum of Decorative Arts
The Museum of Decorative Arts houses a unique collection of art objects made with lemons and oranges. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, jewelery and fabrics made with these fruits by local master craftsmen. This museum is open every day during the festival and admission is free for all visitors.
The 2023 Fête du Citron® program
Between 11 and 26 February, Menton will host a series of events and activities to celebrate the lemon. There will be shows, music, fireworks, markets and much more. The Fête du Citron® takes place on two main squares of the city: the Place aux fruits and the Promenade du Soleil. These two squares host most of the events during the festival.
La Place aux fruits is an open-air market where you can buy fruits, vegetables, souvenirs and other local products. The Promenade du Soleil is a pedestrian promenade offering breathtaking views of the sea and the city. During the festival, the Promenade du Soleil hosts musical and dance performances as well as various attractions for children.
In addition to the events scheduled in the two main squares, numerous other activities take place around the city during the festival. There are workshops for children, city tours, lemon tastings and more. The Fête du Citron® program changes every year, so there is always something new to discover
The 2023 program is as follows:
- From 11 to 26 February at the Biovès Gardens you will find all the exhibitions created with 15 tons of citrus fruits. Admission is free.
- Every day from 10 to 18.00 at the Palais de l’Europe you can admire the orchid festival. Free admission.
- Saturday 11 at 15.30, again at the Palais de l’Europe opens the Craft Festival, which you can visit every day from 10.00 to 18.00. Free admission
- The golden fruit parades will be held on Sundays 12, 19 and 26 February 2023. from 2.30 to 4.00 pm on the promenade du soleil.
If you want to admire these events, you can buy the tickets directly on the official website of the event
- The night-time parades will be held on 16 and 23 February from 21.00 to 22.30 on the promenade du soleil.
You can buy tickets here.
For all the other info, you can visit the official website of the Lemon Festival