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2024 MangoMania this Saturday

Pine Island tropical fruit fair to be held at Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Church

By SPECIAL TO THE BREEZE - | Jul 9, 2024

The Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for MangoMania 2024, Pine Island’s tropical fruit fair, which will be held this Saturday, July 13, at Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Church from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

According to Chamber Board Member Cynthia Welch, it’s high time for summer fun and MangoMania is just that fun and family friendly event that attracts both locals and tourists who enjoy tropical fruits and want to experience the vibrant culture of our island.

The festival features various activities, such as tropical plants, trees and fruit for sale, a recipe contest, biggest mango contest, Creative mango games for kids of all ages, live music, mango and tropical fruit food and beverages, planting seminars, arts, crafts and island businesses.

While this is a free event, Welch said, a $5 donation is appreciated at the gate to benefit island business recovery and Samaritan Health and Wellness at the Beacon of Hope. This event will showcase local entertainment starting at 9 a.m.

“The music begins with DJ Isaac and will be playing some great tunes to get the day started. At 12:45 p.m., folks can catch one of our island favorites, Rudy Cox, live on stage,” Welch said.

She also reminds everyone to join in the mango-themed event fun, such as the recipe contest. Sign in between 9 and 11 a.m. Make sure you sign in and drop off your mango bread, dessert, jams, salsa or condiments at the food contest tent.

More fun abounds in the Mango Maniac Contest. If you have Pine Island’s biggest mango, you could win a prize. Weigh in starts at noon at the seminar tent. Winners will be announced at 12:30 p.m. See the chamber website for a full list of contest categories.

Create your own Mr. Mango head before the contest or create your own at the festival between 9 and 11:30 a.m.

There will also be seminars where you are invited to join island experts in the seminar tent to learn more about the mango, such as Steve Cucura of FruitScapes Fruit Market, who will share some history of the Pine Island mango. Har Madeem will teach the art of grafting your mango tree and Matt Reece will speak on mango cultivars. Jay Reynolds of Treehouse Permaculture Farm will give a seminar. Tim Watkins shares mango pruning for tree size control and fruit production. Erica Klopf will teach perennial gardening with mangoes and Donna Schneider of Pine Island Tropicals will educate on canning and cooking with mangoes and tropical fruit. To check activities and schedules visit PineIslandChamber.org.

“Overall, MangoMania is a celebration of all things mango, bringing together farmers and enthusiasts to enjoy the bounty of this beloved fruit. We need everyone’s support of the island more than ever. So, If you have a passion for mangoes or just want to have a fun day out with family and friends, be sure to mark your calendar for MangoMania. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss,” Welch said.

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church is at 2175 Stringfellow Road, Bokeelia.