2015 French Lemon Festival

Lemon Festival 2015Welcome to French Lemon Festival!

Everywhere you look the colors of orange and lemon yellow are so bright that one is almost compelled to don a pair of Ray-Bans in France on the Lemon Festival. But then you might miss the subtle detail of this exquisite panorama. Before you is a bigger than life-size steam train pulling a Victorian-style carriage sculpted in lemons and oranges displayed on a field of geometrical patterns also of citrus. To the left and slightly behind the train is what appears to be the railroad station also built of the pucker fruit. In the background is a looming giant of a sculpture of Big Ben in all it citrus glory.

Lemon Festival  VeniceThis is Menton, in the South of France, nicknamed the “Cité des Citrons” (City of Lemons). Every year around this time, it celebrates the Fête du Citron (the Lemon Festival) an event unique in the world, featuring giant designs made exclusively from citrus fruits and floats decorated with oranges and lemons.The Lemon Festival usually takes place between middle of February until March, in Menton, France. This year the festival runs from February 14th to March 4th.This is one of the largest festivals in the South of France attracting over 160,000 visitors and around 145 tons of lemons and oranges used in fascinating and original giant-size sculptures.

Lemon Festival2Lemon Festival InkaEver since the 15th century, Menton has been a major producer of lemons. By the twentieth century it had grown into the largest producer of citrus on the continent. The idea for the Lemon Festival can be traced all the way back to 1929, when a local hotelier suggested that Menton organize a flower and citrus fruit exhibition to show off its famous produce. The exhibition was so popular for the locals that the following year, they filled the streets with carts carrying orange and lemon trees. Each year the exhibitions grew and drew more and more crowds, so that by 1934, Menton decided to officially declare mid February as the Fête du Citron.

Lemon Festival PagodaLemon Festival ChinaOver the decades, the Lemon Festival has grown into and artistic competition of giant sculptures of animals, buildings and other beautiful scenes all created using lemons and oranges. The citrus sculptures are up to 10 meters (30-feet) tall, incredibly decorated and also parade floats requiring over 140 tons of oranges and lemons. For three weeks, Menton gives over the Biovès Gardens as well as its surrounding streets to these giant citrus sculptures.

Lemon Festival JapanThe theme for the 80th edition of the event is “Around the world in 80 days: Menton, the secret port of call” and will therefore be the idea behind all of the creations in the Corsos de Fruits d’Or (parades with floats), the Corsos Nocturnes (parades in the night), and the Jardin de Lumierès found inside the Jardins Biovès (Biovès gardens) in the center of the city. Visitors will be able to take on the role of modern-day explorers, visiting India, Egypt, New York and Hong Kong. Though the fruit may be sour they will surely east their eyes on sweet sights unseen anywhere else in the world.

Lemon Festival IndiaEd McCormick was past Managing Editor of the ArtMolds Journal – “the artists’ magazine,” as well author and editor of over twenty art books and instructional videos. He is also an accomplished artist, and since 1998, CEO of EnvironMolds, LLC, manufacturer of art supplies to the art industry He serves as co-founder and director of the artist guild, Association of Lifecasters International (ALI) with over 2,000 members world-wide. His company offers artists and mold makers, high quality mold making, casting materials and tools as well as advice and counsel on art projects. For more information the Lemon Festival sculptures and Menton, please visit this link: https://www.artmolds.com/blog/2015-french-lemon-festival.html

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