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Here I am at the Menton Citrus Festival, February 2018

Menton citrus festival
Floats and displays are made of – you got it – oranges and lemons. About 150 tons of fruit go into floats and sculptures centering on a selected theme – this year's was Bollywood.

Menton is in the south of France near Monte Carlo.


Menton is famous for its lemons. Most of the oranges used in the festival are imported from Spain.

As you can see, Menton lemons aren't shaped like the ones we see in the supermarket. Evidently they taste sweeter, are more fragrant and because the peel has lots of oils in it, many side products are made – soaps, jams and candy, and lemon-infused olive oil, honey and vinegar.

  Menton lemons

Our hotel was in Menton's Old Town (right).

I went with this illustrious group from PAN, Paris Alumni Network, for alums from American universities.

Pan group

  Menton Old Town
Enough backgrounding – on to the festival!

Float building starts five months ahead of the late February event. About 20,000 hours of work go into parade floats and sculptures on display_ not to mention 750,000 elastic bands and five miles of chicken wire.

The fruit is the last component, since it needs to be fresh. Damaged or deteriorating fruit is replaced as needed during the festivities.

About 90% of the fruit is still edible after the nine-day festival and recycled via auction afterward.

No detail is overlooked. Even the back side!  
Menton citrus festival
Menton citrus festival
On to the parade...    
Menton citrus festival   Menton citrus festival

Menton citrus festival  

Vendors blend in.





We took in other sights in the area, then since the Italy is so close, I hopped over to Ventimiglia.