The 85th Fete du Citron (Lemon Festival) adopted an Indian theme in 2018, and Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band was invited as one of the leading acts of the festival. The Band played at several venues and events including:

  • At the Expositions des Motifs D’Agrumes (Exhibition of Citrus Patterns) in the Biovès Gardens where a number of giant sculptures depicting aspects of Indian arts, culture and faith, had been magnificently crafted in dazzling yellow and orange colours. These wonderful works of arts were made entirely of lemons and oranges, some several metres tall and requiring nearly fifteen tonnes of citrus fruit.
  • During the Corsos des Fruits D’Or (golden Fruit Parade) on Sunday afternoon - the central focus of this unique event. This energetic parade, bathed in glorious coastal sunshine, was experienced by several thousand people who had lined the seafront promenade and narrow streets, and taken their seats in the huge grandstands. Again, the citrus fruit-based artistry was on display, as a number of Indian-themed floats paraded through the street.

The Band wowed the crowds throughout the three days (17th -19th February) that they performed, although the Festival itself ran from 17th February to 4th March 2018. Its unique blend of Scottish regalia and Indian faces and melodies was truly one of the highlights of the Festival.

Since its start in 1933 as a fruit show, this Festival on the French Riviera has grown into an internationally renowned event, drawing around a quarter of a million visitors. Legend has it that the lemon tree first took root in Menton. According to the story, Menton grew from a pip, to become the prime lemon-growing region in Europe. An exhibition of flowers and citrus fruit first started in the early 20th century, and was so successful that the event soon took over Menton’s winding streets.

This year, a total of 145 tonnes of citrus fruit were used to create an array of floats and installations that in total took 20,000 hours of work – all enjoyed by 240,000 visitors.

Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band London performs in Menton, France on the 17th of February.