Citrus fruit sculptures decorate the French Riviera ahead of Paris Olympics

The French city of Menton turns gold for two weeks in February during the fruity festivities, ITV News' Caroline Lewis reports

Orange and lemon sculptures are decorating a city on the French Riviera for two weeks as it celebrates its annual Fête du Citron.

The Menton Lemon Festival has been running for 90 years, and this year's fruity festivities are Olympic themed in a nod to Paris hosting the Summer Games.

The colourful creations comprise 140 tonnes of citrus fruit, with nearly 500,000 lemons and oranges carefully placed on top of one another, the town council's technical director Christophe Ghiena said.

A worker places lemons on an equestrian carnival float during the festival. Credit: AP

"It's 3,000 hours of fruit handling over two weeks since we have to be very quick to ensure that the fruit remains in the best possible condition during the two-week festival," Mr Ghiena said.

Around 240,000 people flock to the city to witness the fine fruit figures of the Fête du Citron, some of which stretch 10 metres in height.

A worker places citrus fruits on an boxing carnival float. Credit: AP

"I've wanted to come here to the Lemon Festival for a long time, at least 20 years ... We never made it. So it's a dream, it's great," one woman in Menton said, having finally made it to the citrus carnival.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…