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The Lemon Festival – Fête du Citron – 2024 in Menton

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The Lemon Festival – Fête du Citron – is an extraordinary event that has been staged in Menton since 1934, where the undisputed star is the lemon.

During the festival, one can admire spectacular citrus fruit sculptures and watch the parade of floats, also at night.

The Fête du Citron in Menton is a riot of colours and scents that you will struggle to get out of your nostrils for a while!

It is really hard not to be captivated by the beauty and uniqueness of this characteristic festival that takes place every year in Menton.

Let’s discover together what the Lemon Festival – Fête du Citron – in Menton is and how to organise your visit.

When is the Lemon Festival 2024 in Menton

The 2024 Lemon Festival is staged in Menton from 17 February to 03 March 2024.

Programme

The Lemon Festival enlivens the streets of the town with a parade of floats, the Exhibition in the Biovès Gardens, the Orchid Festival, the Handicrafts Exhibition, and much more such as workshops for children, guided tours to discover Menton, and jazz concerts.

Let’s see them in detail.

Parade of floats

The Lemon Festival - Fête du Citron - in Menton
The grandstand where you can watch the parade of floats

Colourful and fragrant floats, one more surprising than the other, parade along the Promenade du Soleil to the rhythm of singing and dancing.

The Lemon Festival - Fête du Citron - in Menton

When

Thedate to watch the parade of floats is 18, 25 February and 3 March 2024 from 14:30 to 16:00.

For safety reasons, animals are not allowed in the parades.

Night parade of floats

The date to watch the night parade of floats is 22, 29 February 2024 from 21:00 to 22:30, also on the Promenade du Soleil.

On Thursday 22 February, the night parade will be followed by a drone show, while on Thursday 29 February it will be followed by fireworks.

Tickets

To watch the parade of floats, it is necessary to purchase an entrance ticket, which costs €29.00 in the grandstand for adults (€12.00 for children 6-12 years old), and €16.00 standing for adults (€8.00 for children 6-12 years old).

Tickets can be purchased online on the official website or at the Tourist Office (Palais de l’Europe, 8 avenue Boyer), which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the festival and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the days of the night parades.

Exhibition in the Biovès Gardens

The Lemon Festival - Fête du Citron - in Menton
Lemon Festival
The Lemon Festival - Fête du Citron - in Menton
mentone

Inside the Biovès Gardens, impressive sculptures are set up, made from tons and tons of citrus fruits.

The result is astonishing!

The walk through the scents and colours of citrus fruits is very beautiful.

Also in the gardens, you can find various stands where you can buy souvenirs, seedlings, food, drinks, all lemon-based, of course!

The Biovès Gardens are always open, and admission is free for all visitors.

lemonade
Delicious lemonade on sale at the stands

Orchid Festival and Crafts Exhibition

orchid festival
Lemon Festival

On the first floor of the Palais de l’Europe, during the Fête du Citron, there is the Orchid Festival where you can admire and buy various specimens of these colourful plants, and the Handicrafts Exhibition where you can find high quality typical products.

handcraft

Admission is free for both, and opening hours are as follows:

  • Saturday 17 February from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Thursday from 10:00 to 21:00
  • Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

It may be useful to know that access is also permitted for the disabled or families with pushchairs, thanks to the use of the lift.

A bit of history

In 1929, a Menton hotelier had the idea of organising an exhibition of flowers and citrus fruits in the gardens of the Hotel Riviera, to liven up the town even during the winter months.

At that time, Menton was still the leading producer of lemons on the continent.

The event was so successful that the following year, elegant floats decorated with orange and lemon plants paraded through the streets of the town.

Thus the Lemon Festival was born in 1934.

Two years later, the first citrus fruit and flower exhibition was inaugurated in the Biovès Gardens.

Lemon Festival Menton: curiosities

The Menton lemon was awarded the PGI label in 2015, which is why the lemons used in the Fête du Citron do not come from Menton.

Also because the production of Menton alone would not be sufficient to make the sumptuous citrus compositions of the fête.

Once the festival is over, the citrus fruits still intact are not thrown away but sold at a competitive price, to be made into jams or liqueurs.

Where to park during the Lemon Festival – Fête du Citron

Parking may be the only real sore point of the event.

The advice is to arrive several hours before the start of the parade in order to find it calmly without the anxiety of arriving late.

Or, even better, arrive the night before and stay in a hotel.

During the Lemon Festival, several well-marked reception areas are set up where you can leave your car.

We arrived in the middle of the day and, of course, there was no free parking space but, wandering around a bit, we found pay parking outside the designated areas.

On the website, you can find descriptions of the car parks and the shuttle bus timetables.

Where to stay in Menton

Best Western Hotel Mediterranee Menton – Excellent hotel located just outside the pedestrian area and 300 metres from the sea.

Private parking, at an additional cost of €23.00, and an excellent breakfast included in the rate.

In addition, up to 12 years old, children stay free – Book here.

Lemon Festival Menton 2024: conclusions

A colourful and fragrant annual event, the Menton Lemon Festival is truly characteristic and suitable for the whole family.

Do you need travel insurance? As a reader of BimbeinViaggio, you are entitled to a 5% discount.

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Read on:

1. What to do in Menton with children

2. Complete guide to Genoa

3. The flowering of Castelluccio di Norcia

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