Lemon Festival In Menton: Behind The Scenes
The Lemon Festival in Menton is a unique event in the world. Attendance is constantly increasing, again more than 250 000 visitors came this year. But the festival could not be so successful without the work and ideas of the tourist office. Gralon takes a look behind the scenes of such an event.
The whole city is mobilized
For months the Lemon Festival mobilizes nearly 300 workers who will provide more than 20,000 hours of work. The crack team is composed of citrus growers, gardeners, designers, metalworkers, etc. It is a local company that makes the metal frames of the monumental structures that then the city's Parks & Gardens department decorates with both oranges and lemons.
In total, 500,000 rubber bands will have been needed and approximately 145 tons of citrus fruits participate in the festival.
The Lemon Festival is on the agenda of 6,000 international tourism professionals.
Models before citrus
The event would not be as successful without a perfect synchronization of the different stages. After the drawings have been validated and the models adopted, the realization of the steel structures can begin.
The first difficulty is to manage to make steel structures that are both solid, to support the weight of the fruit (3 to 4 tons for a tank) and flexible to follow the movement of the model. This explains the 15 tons of mild steel used. Three to four people work on this task for five months.
From December, the Centre Technique Municipal proceeds to the assembly of the stands of the corso and the footbridge that connects the two parts of the garden of Biovès.
Fruity designs and floats
For its part, the city's Parks & Gardens department is responsible for going to the mountains or the hinterland to collect all the boxwood needed to draw the outlines of the motifs. It is 70 m3 of boxwood that are woven into garlands in this way each year.
Each float and pattern is covered with wire mesh where lemons and oranges are hung with matching Taiwanese rubber bands so that they are as discreet as possible. In the old days, the fruit was tied with wire. In 1960 it was a gardener who came up with the idea of rubber bands, rightly thinking that they would damage the fruit much less.
It should be noted that to cover 1 m² of wire mesh, 30 kg of fruit are needed, that is, nearly 200 lemons and oranges.
When the party ends
During the 20 days that the Lemon Festival lasts, 20 people are mobilized to assemble the citrus fruits and take care of renewing the deteriorated fruits every day. Once the festival is over, the Parks & Gardens department still has a lot to do. It is in just five days that everything is dismantled and the Biovès garden finds all its plantings.
The good plan : After the event, all the citrus fruits are sold at very attractive prices near the Palais de l'Europe. Notice to lovers of jams, syrups, ...