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MangoMania: Tropical Fruit Fair this weekend

By Staff | Jul 12, 2018

Mango jam, mango pie, mango cookies, and of, course fresh mangoes of all kinds will be among the highlights of this weekend’s MangoMania Tropical Fruit Fair.

The festival now in its 22nd year is set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15, at the German American Social Club on Pine Island Road.

Admission is $5 in advance and $6 at the gate; children under are 10 free.

“It’s all about the mango,” Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jennifer Jennings said. “Everyone will have an opportunity to try fresh mangoes straight from the groves of Pine Island.”

This year, the free tasting table will be sponsored by The Gatherings Grove in Bokeelia. Guests will not only be able to sample the best mangoes, but will be able to purchase many varieties of the fruit as well as fresh baked mango products, mangoes on a stick, mango tea, mango fudge, mango jams and even mango ice cream.

“We also have lots of mango contests,” Jennings said. “Enter your best recipes in the amateur or professional contest. The amateur contestants compete for the best homemade mango goodies like mango jam, chutney, salsa, cookies, breads and beverages. Professionals will enter their best appetizer, entree and dessert recipes – everything that contains mango.”

“We have some great entertainment this year,” Jennings added. “There’s Deb and the Dynamics, Josh Rowand and the Pitbull of Blues Band, Hippy Salad and Strange Arrangement.”

Deb and the Dynamics, a funky rock ‘n’ soul/blues band that originated in 2003 in a small bar in Matlacha, will play three times on Saturday: 12:15 p.m., 3:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.

“What started out as a trio with the guitar player playing a stomp box for a drum set, has through the years become a seven-piece soul band that’s been rocking Southwest Florida for the past 12 years,” lead singer Debra Biela said.

Biela has been in the music business for 34 years and has entertained at most of the major festivals in the United States and Europe.

Josh Rowand and “The Pitbull of Blues Band” will perform two times on Sunday: 11:45 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.

Hippy Salad will play once on Saturday and twice on Sunday. The Saturday time is 1:15 p.m.; Sunday 10:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.

Pine Island favorite Strange Arrangement will take the stage twice on Sunday, at 1:30 and 4:15 p.m.

Hot Flashz will perform Saturday at 2 p.m. The group is an “over 45” troupe that is always a hit. Dancers will “shake their booty” for MangoMania with maracas, songs and dance to entertain the crowd. This year, Mango Queen Kayla McGuire joins the dance team as its celebrity guest dancer.

“Both days are filled with events for adults and events for the children,” Jennings said. “There will also be a mango pie eating contest and a mango throwing contest. Pine Islanders practiced with mullet throwing at our annual mullet toss festival and now they’ll get to try their arm with mangos. And, the Pine Island Kiwanis will hold their ‘Mango Drop’ at 4 p.m. Sunday.

The German American Social Club is at 2101 Pine Island Road, Cape Coral.

For more information visit www.mangomaniafl.net.