Fête du Citron in Menton. Photo credit: Ville de Menton

When life gives you lemons…

…why, stack them up into a jumbo replica of the Taj Mahal, of course. That’s Menton’s MO anyway.

It’s fair to say last year’s Bollywood-themed Fête du Citron reached brave new heights (the howdah-topped elephant springs to mind) – even by the town’s standards. But we’ve seen nothing yet – or so we’re told.

Menton’s band of zesty engineers is set to up the ante in 2019 with a fresh batch of sky-grazing citrus-based sculptures. And with “fantastical worlds” as its theme, the 86th lemon bonanza promises to be the juiciest yet. Started as a publicity stunt by wily hoteliers to divert much-needed tourism from neighbouring Nice – and use up the lemon-producing nook’s surplus while they were at it – over the last eight decades the fête has grown from a humble fruit show into the world’s largest and (as far as we can tell) only display of citron installations.

A whopping 60,000 revellers flock to the seaside resort each year to behold its dizzying showstoppers – among the all-time highs (literally), the jumbo Notre-Dame cathedral and mammoth Eiffel Tower replica. Though 2018’s gravity-defying Taj Mahal is now the one to beat.

The festival takes place from February 16 to March 3. For more information visit www.fete-du-citron.com

From France Today magazine