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Mad about Mangos

By Staff | Jul 30, 2011

The 15th annual MangoMania is set for today from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 31, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the German American Social Club, 2101 Pine Island Road.

This year, the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce, the host and organizer for the annual event, has made some changes in the layout. Arts and crafts will be located in the grassy area of the grounds. Businesses with larger products such as plumbing fixtures will be relegated to the blacktop.

The kids’ area will be expanded this year. Event Coordinator Jennifer Jennings said the attractions provided by Spotlight Amusements are less carnival in nature than those from other companies used in past years. Mote Marine will again bring its mobile aquarium.

Tasting tables for locally grown mangos will be situated close to plants and other agriculture. Through the efforts of this year’s Mango Queen, Melissa Goodwin Koferl, Master Gardeners will give talks both days of the festival. Benton also credits Queen Melissa with generating excellent support from area businesses.

Amateur and professional chefs have plenty of opportunities to take home bragging rights. All foods must feature mangos, of course, but can range from baked goods and desserts to preserves, smoothies, and salsas. Details and entry forms are available at www.pineislandchamber.org

Non-cooks can enter contests such as the mango toss or the mango hat parade.

Mangomania T-shirts for adults and children are on sale at the chamber on Pine Island Rd. in Matlacha. The adult shirt was designed by Kris Neufarth while the children’s is by Pine Island Elementary School student Nathan Carter.

Advance tickets are available at the chamber, at all TIB Banks in Lee County,and at the Pine Island branches of Stonegate Bank and Sun Trust.

Named one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast for July by the Southeast Tourism Society, MangoMania is sponsored by the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce, Breeze Newspapers, the News-Press Media Group, LCEC, SW Florida Parrot, Coastal Gigs, the Lee County Visitors and Convention Bureau, Honc Industries, April’s Island Salon, Royal Tee Golf Club, Around the Clock Fitness Center, Suncoast Beverage Sales, and Caloosa Tent and Rental.

New this year, local business were given the opportunity to become mini sponsors. These 15 businesses will get special promotion on banners and in an insert to the program. Mini sponsors include Ad&PrintCraft of SW Florida, Anglers Inn at Matlacha, Bob and Annie’s Boat Yard, Island Floors, Knoll’s Court Motel, Little Lilly’s Island Deli, Low Key Tiki, Monroe Canal Marina, Paradise Gardens of Pine Island, Pine Island Realty, Terri James, Two Fish Inn, Two Fish Vacation Rental, Waterfront Restaurant and York Road Marina.

For more information, call the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce at (239) 283-0888.