In France, when life hands you lemons, the French don’t just make lemonade – they throw a party! In late February, the sleepy French Riviera town of Menton hosts the Fête du Citron – or the Lemon Festival, a tribute to the city’s number one export – lemons.
As the largest producer of lemons in Europe, Menton, France, has hosted a celebration in honor of the yellow citrus fruit since the early 1930’s. The three-week celebration, which attracts more than 250,000 people annually, coincides with Carnival and Mardi Gras, and boasts similar party escapades, including:
- The Parade of the Golden Fruit – A multicolored parade where elaborate floats are made from Menton lemons and oranges
- A Moonlit Parade – The evening parade of citrus-inspired floats is complemented by music and fanfare from orchestras, folk groups, and dancers who entertain and party well into the wee hours of the morning.
- Citrus Exhibition – The city offers educational tours about citrus that lead onlookers to the four corners of the world
- Gardens of Light – Bizarre sounds and strange creatures basking in light await festival-goers who enter the fairytale-like garden.
If you are a lover of lemons – and partying for that matter, attending the Fête du Citron is an ideal way to get your fix of both. Can’t make it to Menton for the Fête du Citron? Celebrate by making a sweet lemon treat at home. Here are a few ideas to get you started…