Island chamber picks MangoMania winners
Each year, the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce puts forth a call to area artists to come up with a design that will represent the annual MangoMania Tropical Fruit Festival.
The winner of this year’s adult shirt and logo is part-time island resident Bill Duncan.
The design depicts a colorful mango pair standing beneath an umbrella announcing MangoMania 2009.
Each of Duncan’s characters are made up to resemble Native Americans with a modern flare. The female is decked out in a pair of Crocs, while the male is sporting the ever-fashionable Pine Island Reebok’s.
Duncan’s design will appear on all advertising and promotional material for the July event, and on adult T-shirts and tank tops available for purchase at the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center on Pine Island Road in Matlacha. The shirts also are available at MangoMania, which is scheduled to take place July 11-12 at the German-American Club.
For his effort, Duncan received a cash prize of $300.
According to Lisa Benton with the chamber, several designs were submitted for judging by the selection committee and this is not the first time Duncan has won.
“Bill has consistently kept with the MangoMania theme and his images are always delightfully whimsical and colorful,” she said. “His characters evoke the feeling of Pine Island complete with Crocs and Reeboks.”
According to Benton, the chamber received six entries in this year’s adult shirt contest.
“As usual, this was not an easy decision as we have so many talented artists here on the island, and it is our hope that these folks will participate again in the years to come,” she said.
This is the third design produced by Duncan that has been selected to represent MangoMania.
The winner of the child’s design was Pine Island Elementary School student Marissa Hardy. Her design, to be featured on the child size T-shirts, shows an adult and a child mango amid a tropical back drop with the older mango spouting “Let’s Party.”
A Pine Island original, MangoMania began 13 years ago by the chamber to showcase the island businesses and to promote tourism on the island. Since the early days, MangoMania quickly outgrew it location at the KOA in St. James City.
With no larger venues available on the island, the chamber decided to move off-island to the German American Club where it has continued to flourish and grow, attracting not only Pine Island and Matlacha vendors, but those from all over Lee County and Southwest Florida.
In addition to fruit vendors, others have included offerings of native and exotic plants, art work, jewelry, trinkets and clothing, but perhaps the biggest draw is the food vendors.
In past events, visitors to MangoMania could munch on a variety of fare, including fresh, locally-caught seafood, hamburgers, hot dogs and mangos.
Each year the chamber provides a mango tasting table where attendees can sample a variety of mangos such as Bailey’s Marvel, Glenn, Haden, Keitt and others.
Other vendors will offer fresh-picked mangos to take home or packaged in containers for later consumption. Visitors will find mango chutney, salsa, pastries and smoothies to quench a thirst and satisfy a sweet tooth.
Vendors are still being sought for the 2009 MangoMania Tropical Fruit Festival. For more information, call Benton at the Greater Pine Island Welcome Center at 283-4842, or check online at: floridascretivecoast.com.