It all starts with the city of Menton’s events department. It has the difficult task of coming up with and then managing the theme for the year The key aim is that it will excite and delight the public. The organisation requires careful management across all areas,from the creation of the budget, to the forecasting and management of expenditure and estimated income, the scheduling of the entertainment, workshops and parades, the selection of professionals and companies that will make it all happen, the creation of a safety plan, the assessment of human needs and equipment requirements, recruitment, ordering the citrus fruit and even planning for unexpected events! Nothing can be left to chance and everything must run like clockwork. The Municipal Technical Services Department (CTM) workshops and the Parks and Gardens Department base their work on the foundations laid by the events department. The visual success of La Fête du Citron® now rests with them.
The workshops bustle with numerous employees, The Department for Roadways, Environment, Cleanliness and Traffic Flow are standing at the ready throughout the entire event. The Department’s (SVEPC)employees do a great deal of work, from signage that
allows everyone to easily access the gardens and parades of decorated floats, to keeping the town a clean and pleasant place to be 24/7. In no time at all, they must return the streets to their spotless state following an inundation of confetti. The department for Services, Trade and Hygiene operate in the gardens and parades where lemon sellers,sweet vendors and vendors of other small delicacies gather. The health of every consumer and the happiness of every visitor are the absolute priority.
The local police force work tirelessly to ensure the town’s safety and that traffic flows freely on busy days. The many attractions and events laid on by the Tourist Office’s Entertainment department and the town’s Heritage department (which is a branch of the Ministry of Culture for Towns of History and Art) means that the festival makes an impact across the whole town.
Schoolchildren in Menton are also not forgotten,technicians and craftsmen whose imaginative and creative work is essential to give the festival its magical feel. Ange Landra is the experienced leader of this team of artists whose talent is added to each year. Over a period of months, designs are sketched out and steel frames several metres high are constructed, painted and decorated and fine-tuned to the very last detail. It is a large-scale undertaking,which starts in November and cannot be held up for any reason. Once the structures are assembled in the Biovès gardens, the Municipal Technical Services Department passes the baton to the Parks and Gardens Department.
The gardeners’ painstaking job then begins. And what a long and tedious task it is! Oranges, lemons, flowers, wood chips – everything has to be in the right place so that the drawings are reproduced with pin-point accuracy. The wonderment of thousands of visitors from across the world depends on their precision and patience.
For more information, head to the official website for the festival : www.feteducitron.com