A citrus star is born

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After the 79th Lemon Festival® in 2012, organisers came up with the idea of creating a lemony mascot to embody the values of the festival and the town. The aim was simple: the mascot should have a strong visual identity and become an enduring symbol.

It had to be a cute character that people could make an emotional connection with, a mascot that visitors of all ages would relate to with fondness. This was trickier than you might think, because it’s a challenge to instil personality and soul into a fruit – most mascots tend to be characters or animals.

And so a lot of time and thought went into the creation of an emblem for this high-profile event in the Menton calendar. Little by little, it started to take shape. A name was found: John Lemon.

Initial sketches were produced and refined as the months went by, and about ten prototypes were tested before John Lemon finally saw the light of day in January 2013 – just one, to begin with.

The mascot was displayed at the Tourist Office during the 80th Lemon Festival because it was important to get a feel for how the public would react to him, before starting production.

John Lemon was an instant hit: his cheeky face, his naughty but nice demeanour and playful zest caught everyone’s imagination, from the youngest to the most venerable visitor. And so, for the past year, John Lemon has been available as a cuddly toy and on memory sticks and keyrings.

What’s even better, he’s now a lifesized figure in the festival, processing with the parades and in the Garden of Lights.

photographie © Ville de Menton