MangoMania set for Saturday and Sunday
This year’s MangoMania, Pine Island’s tropical fruit fair, will grace the grounds of the German American Club this Saturday and Sunday.
Jennifer Jennings, Greater Pine Island Chamber Welcome Center director, said she would like to emphasize that this is the chamber’s 17th year of putting on MangoMania. She said as a chamber, this is their effort to help the growers on Pine Island sell their crops during their season.
In addition, Jennings said MangoMania allows the chamber to let the public know what else they have to offer in terms of restaurants, art galleries and all around services of the local area.
The gates will open at 10 a.m. Saturday, until 7 p.m., and the hours are from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets are $6 at the gate and $5 in advance when purchased at the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce or Stonegate Bank.
Jennings said the event will feature a tasting table with mango samplings from Eat More Mangos and The Mango Factory. Both businesses will have their mangos for sale during the event.
FruitScapes will have trees and citrus plants for sale.
The entertainment for the two-day event includes local bands Wild Caught Band, Aimee Lynne Band and Grupo Espanil. This year the event will also include two national blues acts, Damon Fowler and Debbie Davies, both of whom will play on Saturday.
The Hot Flashz Dancers and the Calendar Girls also will perform on Saturday and Sunday.
Mango Queen Scarlet Player will host contests with the children during the event. She will have hat decorating, the hat parade and the famous mango pie eating contest.
Jennings said Player has added a mango hula hooping contest for the first time this year.
“Matt Mango” also will be a part of the festivities.
As of last Friday morning, Jennings said they had 91 vendors registered for the event.
“We have such a different variety of vendors this year,” she said.
Some of the local vendors include Traders Hitching Post, Great Licks and Paradise Garden. Catch a Fire, Personally Yours, Origami Owl Costume Jewelry and Notorious Cigars will also be a part of the event this year.
Why Pay More Gourmet Garlic Grater, JP Sports and David’s Bee Haven will also have a booths set up during the event. Jennings said David’s Bee Haven will have an education seminar about bees since he is a bee keeper.
The Olde Fish House Marina will have smoked mullet with a mango dip and mango cheesecake, and Red’s Fresh Seafood House and Tavern will have local shrimp with a mango sauce, as well as fresh shucked oysters.
The Cupcake Ladies, Jennings said, will also be a part of the festival this year, as well as Island Times Diner, which will serve hamburgers, cheeseburgers and root beer floats.
Mama Jugs will have fresh brewed ice tea for sale.
Arts Produce, which is a part of the Pine Island Farmer’s Market, which will start again in November, will also have his produce for sale at the event.
Jennings said the Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel Tourist Development Council will be at MangoMania to promote restaurant week, since Pine Island restaurants will be participating.