MangoMania: Pine Island’s Tropical Fruit Fair this weekend
It’s that time of year again, and it’s all about the mango!
The 23rd annual Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce MangoMania Tropical Fruit Festival will be held this Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14, at the German American Social Club on Pine Island Road in Cape Coral.
“We will be giving visitors a taste of ‘Island Time,’ showcasing our mango growers,” Chamber Executive Director Jennifer Jennings said. “Everyone will have an opportunity to try fresh mangoes straight from the mango groves of Pine Island.”
This year the free tasting table is sponsored by The Gatherings Grove in Bokeelia. Guests will not only be able to sample the best mangoes but will also be able to purchase many different varieties of mangoes, fresh-baked mango products, mangoes on a stick, mango tea, mango fudge, mango jams and mango ice cream.
“This is just the start of the annual MangoMania Festival,” Jennings said. “You won’t want to miss the Mango tasting tables, mango smoothies and mango breads! Who knew there were so many varieties of mangos and so many recipes? The hard part will be making your selections to take home.”
“We also have lots of mango cooking 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, entre and dessert recipes; everything that contains mango.”
Other mango contests include: How many mango pies can you eat? Who has grown the largest mango? How far can you throw a mango? And, how accurately can you toss a mango into a basket?
“We’ll have live music all day and over 100 vendors selling crafts and goodies,” Jennings said. “There will also be a Christmas in July Snow Tent brought to you by Eddie Barnhill Jr.’s “Got Ice”! After you and the kids have cooled down, go over and meet the Mango Queen Madam DJ and the Mango Queen Mum!”
This year’s entertainment appearing on the main stage: Hester Prynn Band, Strange Arrangement, Hippy Salad, Brotherly Love, Jason Bonham & Mickey Basil and Hot Flashz Dancers.
The Hot Flashz will perform Saturday at 2 p.m.The Hot Flashz is an “over 45” dancing troupe that is always a hit. Dancers will “shake their booty” for MangoMania with maracas, song and dance to entertain the crowd.
“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. The Pine Island Kiwanis will hold their ‘Mango Drop’ at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The first prize is $1000.00!”