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MangoMania to offer fruit, music and contests

By Staff | Jul 8, 2009

Each year people from all over gather to celebrate the area’s bounty of fresh tropical fruit and get a taste of what life is like on Pine Island.
This weekend the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce will host MangoMania 2009 at the German American Club on Pine Island Road. The festivities will take place Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Numerous vendors will be on hand to offer local tropical fruit, art and crafts, trees and plants, food and beverages and much more. Some of the biggest attractions, however, are the many contests geared to participants of all ages.
Kicking off the event, novice and professional chefs will go head to head when presenting a variety of mango dishes to be sampled by this year’s judges. Categories for entries include deserts, salsas and chutneys and main dishes prepared with mangos as the main ingredient.
Just for the kids will be a pair of Mr. Mango Head contests. Children are invited to dress up a mango and enter their creation into the contest in hopes of winning a prize.
Open to contestants of all ages will be a mango pie eating contest, mango toss, precision throw and much more.
The Mango Parade will take participants throughout the grounds of the German American Club and all are welcome to participate. At the end of each of two scheduled parades, awards will be presented to those with the most creative, handcrafted hats.
This year’s contest schedule include:

— 10 a.m. — Food judging contest, judges: Robert Van Winkle from NBC-2 and Karen Feldman from Florida Weekly.
— 10:30 a.m. — Mr. Mango Head, sponsored by Dairy Queen.
— 10:30 a.m. — Precision Mango Toss, sponsored by Island Visions.
— 11 a.m. — Mango Pie Eating, sponsored by Little Lilly’s Island Deli.
— 11:45 a.m. — Mango Hat Parade, led by the Mango Queen and King.
— 12:15 p.m. — Mango Hat Contest, sponsored by Lazy Flamingo Restaurant.
— 1 p.m. — Generation Gap Relay, sponsored by Bokeelia Cracker Cafe.
— 1:30 p.m. — Mr. Mango Head, sponsored by Great Licks Ice Cream.

— 10 a.m. — World’s Largest Mango Weigh-in, sponsored by Winn-Dixie.
— 11 a.m. — World’s Longest Mango Throw, sponsored by The Island Grill.
— 11:45 a.m. — Mango Hat Parade, led by the Mango Queen and King.
— 12:15 p.m. — Mango Hat Contest, sponsored by Footprints in the Sand.
— 12:30 p.m. — Mango Juggling, sponsored by Pampered Pup.
— 1:15 p.m. — Precision Mango Toss, sponsored by Moretti’s Seafood Restaurant.

Again this year a special area has been set up just for the kids. There the children can participate in a number of games and enjoy bounce houses amid a carnival-like atmosphere.
No event is complete without music and the chamber has once again developed a line-up of some of Pine Island’s most talented performers.
Taking the stage Saturday from 11 a.m.-noon will be the Hot Flashz dance group followed from 1-3 p.m. by Dogfish. Winding up the day will be the Captiva Band from 3-5 p.m.
On Sunday, first to take the main stage will be the Bombaleros from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., then the Skeeterland Band will perform from 1-2 p.m. and finishing up the event will be international singer/songwriter Annie Wenz.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at TIB Bank on Stringfellow Road just south of the island center for $5 or at the gate at $6 each for adults and children under 10 will be admitted for free.
All proceeds from the event will be used to promote island business and tourism to Pine Island.
For more information, visit: floridascreativecoast.com.