Fete du Citron, Menton Lemon Festival 2024

Bonjour! Welcome to Fete du Citron in Menton, one of the most unique festivals in Europe! Each year, around mid-February, the town turns gold for 2 weeks when 120 tons of lemons and oranges are turned into delicious-looking sculptures and floats. Some of them can reach up to an impressive height of 10m! Lemon Festival is a truly one-of-the-kind event and we’re not surprised at all that over 200k people are attracted by it each year.

Each year a different theme is featured. Over the last decades, there have already been themes like Walt Disney Studio, Bollywood, Fantasy Worlds, Wonders of the World, or Great Civilizations just to name a few. In 2024 the town nodded to Paris and the Olympic Games and named the festival “from Olympia to Menton”.

Interesting fact. The lemons used for the Lemon Festival sculptures don’t come from Menton. Why? Because Menton lemon is a rare product protected by an IGP (Protected Geographical Indication)! Used citruses are brought in from all over the world.

Explore Tasty Fete du Citron, Menton Lemon Festival 2024
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Fete du Citron short history

Back at the end of the 19th century, when people started to come to Cote d’Azur to escape winters, Menton’s hoteliers suggested the town to throw a parade to entertain the guests. 

The first parade took place in 1875 and was a huge success. But the lemons didn’t make their huge entrance until 1929 when Hotel Riviera hosted a citrus and flower exhibition on its ground floor. A new idea was very successful and the following year, the citrus exhibit was moved into the town’s streets.

In 1934 town council gave the event the official name of it Fête du Citron. Since 1959, each year’s festival has had a different theme, with all the sculptures and parades following it.

2024 Olympic Sculpture during Fete du Citron in Menton
90th Menton Fete du Citron - from Olympia to Menton
90th Fete du Citron - from Olympia to Menton

90th Fete du Citron – from Olympia to Menton

Giant sculptures in Bioves Gardens

Bioves Gardens is a place where you can find some of the most impressive and biggest Lemon Festival sculptures, all available to admire for free. They are very, very impressive! There, you can also find many stands selling products made of Menton lemons (like limoncello, sweets, snacks, lemonade, beers, soaps, and even citrus trees). 

In 2024 there were sculptures referencing the early Olympic Games held to please Greek gods. There was a modern touch as well representing sports that many compete in these days.

Menton Lemon Festival - Citrus sculptures in Bioves Gardens
Menton Fete du Citron - Giant sculptures in Bioves Gardens
Giant Lemon sculptures in Bioves Gardens in Menton
Giant goddess lemon orange stand during Menton Fete du Citron
Giant sportsmen sculpture during Fete du Citron in Menton

Golden Fruits Parade

One of the main events during Fete du Citron is the Golden Fruits Parade, which takes place on the Promenade du Soleil in Menton. There you can admire even more fruity floats accompanied by marching bands, folk groups, dancers, costumed entertainers, and a lot of confetti. It’s a paid event, for which you need to buy tickets in advance. 

Fruity float during Golden Fruits Parade in Menton
Dancer during Golden Fruits Parade Menton
2024 Fete du Citron - from Olympia to Menton - winner sculpture
Dancer during Menton Lemon Festival Parade
Sportsman lemon sculpture during Menton parade

Official site and tickets

To learn more about Lemon Festival, current dates, additional events, and ticket prices visit Fete du Citron official website.

Our video from Fete du Citron

Our opinion about Fete du Citron

We visited Fete du Citron in February 2024 and had a chance to see both sculptures in Bioves Gardens and the Golden Fruits Parade (we bought tickets in mid-January).

We really liked the fruity sculptures – they are super impressive! As for the parade – we didn’t like it that much. We found it quite boring and not worth the price. This part was rather sour than sweet. Sorry, Menton!

If you can choose only one between Lemon Festival Parade and Nice Carnival we’d strongly suggest choosing the second one – it’s SO MUCH better and more fun (and surprisingly even a bit cheaper!). But of course, it’s only our opinion based on what we saw in the year 2024.

Lemon sculpture Fete du Citron

Whole Menton also was extremely crowded from the early morning hours. We expected it but constantly pushing through the crowds was still very exhausting. If you hate crowds like we do, we recommend going to the beach to chill.

Overall we think that Fete du Citron is an event worth seeing at least once in a lifetime. If we’ll be on Cote d’Azur in the future in time for the next editions, we’d love to see new sculptures in Bioves Gardens. But we’ll definitely choose to visit during weekdays instead of the weekends! And no more parades.

Fruity details - Menton Lemon Festival
Menton Lemon Festival - Citrus skater sculpture in Bioves Gardens

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Fete du Citron, Menton Lemon Festival 2024

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