It's that time of year again when an annual festival will highlight everything mango at the German American Social Club.
MangoMania, Pine Island's Tropical Fruit Festival, will offer a variety of activities for individuals to participate in Saturday, July 21, from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., and Sunday, July 22, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Presale tickets for the event will be available until July 16. Those who purchase their tickets ahead of time will save $1 on the $6 admission fee at the gate.
MangoMania Queen Cassy Skau will be among the crowd at the festival next weekend interacting with many youngsters.
Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce Administrative Assistant Jennifer Jennings said they are still seeking volunteers to help at the festival.
Volunteers are needed for the ticket booths, souvenir sales, children's area, tasting booth, beverages booth, parking area and the chamber booth. Those who volunteer on Saturday will work a 3-hour shift or a 3.5-hour shift on Sunday.
Jennings said she wanted to include a Chamber of Commerce information booth so they can highlight businesses in the area. She said they will also have their brochures available, as well as business information for individuals to take with them.
If You Go:
What: MangoMania, Pine Island's Tropical
When: July 21, 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.,
and July 22, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Where: German American Social Club,
2101 Pine Island Road
Admission: $5 until July 16 and $6 at the gate
Entertainment will also be a large portion of the festival next weekend. Jennings said Stringtown, Lemongrass, Soapbox, Grupo Espanila (a 15-member Latin group) and the Calendar Girls and Hot Flashz will perform.
MangoMania will also provide ample opportunities for the youngsters, including games with the Mango Queen. A mango pie eating contest, as well as a generation gap relay, which is kids against their parents, and Mr. Mango Head contest will be other activities held during the festival.
Jennings said Skau will also be knighting little boys and making the girls honorary princesses during the festival.
A mango longest throw, mango juggling contest and mango cornhole contest will also be held.
Jennings said MangoMania hat decorating will be held in the queen's tent before the parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The weigh-in for the largest mango will be held Sunday at 10 a.m.
Speakers will also grace the festival on Saturday and Sunday.
Doug Floweree with Mango Factory, Dr. Eileen Rowan with the Pine Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Joey LaMountains with Lee County Parks and Recreation Manatee Park Division and Nancy MacPhee, who will speak about paddling the Florida Circumnavigation Trail, will all speak at the festival.
A recipe contest, which includes mango appetizer, jams and chutney will also be a part of the festivities with judging Saturday at 10 a.m. The contest is open to amateur cooks, chefs and restaurants.
The categories for the amateur contest include one loaf of mango bread; one pint jar of mango salsa, relish and chutney; four mango cookies or two servings of a dessert; one pint jar of mango jams, jellies or preserves; two servings of mango smoothie; or one bottle of mango dressing or marinade.
The professional mango recipe contest includes two servings of a mango appetizer, one plate of a mango entre and two servings of a mango dessert.
The contest may have multiple entries for each division in each category. Entry forms must be delivered or faxed to the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce by 3 p.m., Friday, July 20.
The entries must be present at the main stage for judging by 9:45 a.m. Saturday, which does not include a fee to enter.
So far the local vendors who will be a part of the festival include Great Licks Ice Cream Shop, Trader's Hitching Post, Paradise Jams, Harborside Gallery and Pine Island Spice Company. Victor Bupp will have plumeria trees available.
In addition, Notorious Cigars, Rain Barrow Beauty, Papyrus Document and Design, Pine Island Earth Friends, Sierra Club, Tourist Development Council and Pine Island Wildlife Sanctuary will also be among some of the vendors.
Some of the food vendors include Miceli's, Sabor Latino Food and City Smoke Barbeque.
Schooner Bay Realty Inc. will be donating misters for the event.
There is limited vendor space still available for the festival. Those interested in being a part of the event can call the chamber at 239-283-0888.
2012 MangoMania T-shirts are still available for those interested in purchasing one.