The Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce is again preparing to hold the 18th Annual MangoMania Tropical Fruit Fair, with the After-Hours Card Exchange that was also the MangoMania 2014 Kick-Off party held on June 19.
Jennifer Jennings, executive director of the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center and MangoMania coordinator, said at the kick-off party, "We only now have 13 days to get all of our vendors in place, and to help any last minute vendors who have not yet complete their paperwork and to announce to our community that it is MangoMania planning time; to also re-introduce our new Mango Queen, Valerie Hedman, - to the Greater Pine Island area."
The hosts of the kick-off was CW Fudge Factory, which featured homemade Mango Fudge; Modern Woodmen; Fraternal Financial; Olde Fish House, which prepared the great food, which started off with local, fresh, right-off-the-boat Pine Island shrimp, crab and shrimp cakes and mango chicken wings and chicken sandwiches; and also Perfect Cup, which provided chairs for the guest and parking.
A table full of mangos at a recent MangoMania.
Photo provided by Ad&PrintCraft
The queen and party guests were all asked to get a mango out of a bag and walk to the little bridge in Matlacha by Olde Fish House Marina and Restaurant and to be a part of the Blessing of the Mango for MangoMania 2014.
The mango festival is The Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce and Lee County VCB's featured summer attraction. MangoMania is the place to go and enjoy some of Pine Island's freshest right off the tree mangos and other tropical fruits.
The Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce will have two large tents at the event with all kinds of local grown fruits and, of course, mangos. MangoMania is a celebration of all the tropical fruit grown on Pine Island which includes lychee, carambola, longan, papaya and chocolate pudding fruit. Some of the vendors will be featuring exotic fruit trees, and fruit-related products will be available for purchase. The festival also offers live music, kid's activities, food contest and so much more.
Come out for the Mango Pie eating contest, which is always a blast. This year the contest will be broken up into adults and kids to make it fair for all ages to compete. The event will also feature a Hula-Hoop contest, mango hat decorated contest and hat parade, mango corn hole contest, Mango Generation Gap Relay, Mr. Mango Head Contest, mango juggling contest, largest mango contest and the professional and amateur mango food contest.
This year they have added a new attraction which is the Mango Spin Raffle. This is new to the event and will be a lot of fun. Purchase a Mango Spin Raffle ticket, one for $5 or 5 for $20. The tickets will be placed in a large mango spinner at the main stage on Sunday around 5 p.m. We then have the mango queen spin those mango tickets. Third place winner gets $250. The second ticket pulled will win $500 and the third ticket pulled will be this year's grand winner of the Dizzy Mango Spin Raffle and win $1,000. Tickets can be purchased at the event or online at www.MangoMania.com
But if this isn't enough, then there will be two full days of live entertainment by the HipNauticals, Gators in the Sawgrass, Bonham 528, Trailer Park Barbie and the Boys, Calendar Girls and Hot Flashz, something for everyone, and a chance to meet MangoMania Queen Valerie Hedman.
"This is very exciting for me," Hedman said. "Someone has to nominate you for queen, you then go before the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for an interview, and then the entire board votes on who they feel would represent our beautiful Island, the MangoMania event, and our area."
Jennings said " We are always looking for fun people who want to volunteer and also have a great time at MangoMania, so if you have nothing to do that weekend give me a call and we will hook you up with a great, fun job."
Hedman is a full-time resident of Bokeelia and lives on her family's farm where they raise palm trees, livestock and, of course, mango trees. She did participate in MangoMania 2013, local Farmers Markets and events as a vendor selling her Island Mom's Jams.
The 18th Annual MangoMania Tropical Fruit Fair will again be held at the
German American Social Club, 2101 S.W. Pine Island Road, Cape Coral.
Hours are Saturday, July 19, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, July 20, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ticket are $6 for adults or $5 in advance. Tickets can be picked up at the Chamber building or online at www.MangoManiaFL.com, free for children younger than 10.
For more information about the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce or the 18th Annual MangoMania Tropical Fruit Fair call Jennings at 239-283-0888 or log onto www.MangoManiaFL.com