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Menton Lemon Festival (From February 18th to March 9th 2011).
Menton, situated between the Italian border and Monaco, is widely celebrated for its Lemon Festival, held in February each year. The unique event is held over a period of twenty days, and attracts over 230,000 visitors.
The town itself is tucked between the the Alps and the warm Mediterranean, giving it a micro-climate a little warmer than the regional average, which is ideal for the production of lemons and oranges. Introduced in Europe during the 12th century, the lemon has been grown in Menton for the last six centuries. Menton even has a variety of lemon named after itself, and there is an application filed for the designation AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controlé).
Idea of the Fête du Citron was conceived after the First World War, with tourism in decline, and in 1934 the first fête was held. Each year there is a different theme.
For 2011, the theme for the 78th Fête du Citron - “The Great Civilizations”. During the fete itself, The Jardins Biovès is turned into a massive Theme Park of extraordinary giant sculptures made from oranges and lemons.
Each Sunday during the festival there is a “Corso” or street parade with floats illustrating the theme of the festival and each Thursday evening, the night parade through the streets, with performers, dancers and endless exotic entertainment from around the world.
This image: A giant Sphinx is made from lemons and oranges.