The purpose of this annual event is to showcase all that Pine Island has to offer and to promote island growers and businesses.
This year’s event started off with the singing of the national anthem by "Trailer Park Barbie" and then the pledge of allegiance with the colors being presented by Commander Keith Keefer of Pine Island VFW Post 4353.
Nearly 90 plus vendors filled the grounds at the event, foods from smoked mullet cooked by Olde Fish House in Matlacha, Mango Shrimp by Red’s in Bokeelia. And for those who do not like seafood there were vendors with polish sausage, hamburgers and fries.
MangoMania had some great mango drinks this year. One adult drink that was very popular this year was Budweiser’s Special mixed Mango Beer and Dr. Watson’s special mixture of Mango drinks plus smoothies for the kids.
Those who attended this year’s event were greeted by this year’s Mango Queen Scarlett Player and MangoMania mascot Matt Mango. Scarlett ran all the kid’s contest and games, such as the hat decorating contest and then the hat parade, followed by the generation gap relay, Mango Head contest, where you decorate a mango, Mango juggling, Mango Corn Hole and the ever popular and new to this year’s event the Hula Hoop contest.
1st Place - Lynn Reed with a Mango Momma's Chutney
2nd Place - Charlene Russ with a Mango Chutney
Jellies and Jams
1st Place - Paradise Gardens with a Mango Orange Jam
2nd Place - Charlene Russ with a Mango Pineapple Jam
3rd Place - Lisa Evans with a Mango Hot Pepper Jam
Red's Fresh Seafood House - Baked Mango Cobbler
Lobster Lady - Mango Custard w/Vanilla Bean Drizzle
Olde Fish House Marina - Mango Shrimp Jalapeno Popper
Red's Fresh Seafood House - Mango Seafood Dip
Olde Fish House Marina - Mango Shrimp Jalapeno Popper
The word went out that signups had started for the first Pie Eating Contest of the weekend, held at the main stage on Saturday afternoon. Pat Burman started getting the names for the Mango pie eating contests. They had so many entries; they were forced to limit it to only 10 contestants per day. Jennifer Jennings, Director of the Chamber and Mango Chairman said, “We will have to have more pies next year and we would also like to have two different categories, one for the kid’s and one for the adults.” Jennings said, “The pie eating contest has gotten so popular everyone wants to be a part of it.”
The event offered plenty of entertainment with a little Blues/Rock and Latin music.
Saturday highlighted artist Damon Fowler and the Aimee Linn Band, which performs a few new classic rock songs. Debbie Davies, finished Saturday night out with her greatest hits.
After a little music and food it was time to do some shopping with the local vendors that filled the park: Traders Hitching Post with her unique Native American jewelry, turquoise and silver bracelets all hand crafted. Great Licks Ice Cream with his special recipe of Mango Ice Cream, Paradise Garden with fresh jams and jellies, Notorious Cigars, David's Bee Haven, with his fresh honey, Olde Fish House Marina, with smoked mullet, Red's Fresh Seafood House and Tavern, with their fresh shrimp and mango sauce, Cupcake Express, served fresh baked cupcakes right out of the oven, Arts Produce with fresh veggies and FruitScapes Trees from Bokeelia, Citrus plants, and many more, yes the event ran out of a few varieties of mangos on Saturday, but vendors restocked for those who attended Sunday.
The educational tent was very busy both days with David Gatley of David's Bee Haven spoke about the importance of bees to our environment and their importance to our food sources through cross pollinating.
Steve Cucura, from FruitScapes in Bokeelia explained why Mangos grow so well on Pine Island. Pine Island grows about 50 of the best tasting varieties right on the island.
In spite of the clouds and a little rain MangoMania was a lot of fun and well attended. Most people who attended the event know that the event is held the rainy season, since this is when the mangos are in season. Most people came prepared with rain gear and umbrellas in hand. “We would rather have a few small showers and cloud, then the hot blast of the sun all day. It was a good event and the food and entertainment was great.
The Pine Island Chamber did a wonderful job with the planning and organization of this event.
Wild Caught band finished the day out with some great music.
Plans are already in the works for 2014, the 18 annual MangoMania Tropical Fruit Festival.
The Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce and the MangoMania Committee would like to extend a huge thank you to the sponsors of this year’s event.
• The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel • LCEC (Lee County Electric Company) • Little Lilly’s Island Deli (who made the mango pies) • Stongate Band (sponsor of this year’s Mango Queen) • Tarpon Lodge • 93x radio station • Royal Tee Golf Club (golf cart at the event) • Waste Pro (for recycle and trash removal) • City Biz Directory • Budweiser (adult beverages) • The News-Press (advertising) • Scream Guitars (Mango Guitar) • Pine Island RV Resort • Mote Aquarium • Tech-Tronics (sound at the event) • Nautical Mile (advertising) • Southwest Florida Blues Society • Fox New – 92.5 • 94.5 The Arrow • Ad&PrintCraft (event marketing and program guide).
Special Thank you goes out to all the advertising in this year’s MangoMania Program Guide: • Ad&PrintCraft Marketing & Printing • Alden Pines Golf Course • Andy’s Seafood • Anglers Inn • Bert’s Bar and Grill & Bubbas Road House • Blue Water Realty of Pine Island, Inc. • Cambio Dermatology • Capt’s Con’s Fish House & Bokeelia Fishing Pier • Center Bait and Tackle • Champion Storage • CoveSys • Discover Pine Island • Dr. Watsons, Inc. • Gulf Coast Kayak • Services by Rafael • Island Visions Gallery & Great Licks Ice Cream • Littlie Lilly’s Island Deli • Marra Construction, Inc. • Matlacha Cottages • Modern Woodmen • Olde Fish House Marina • Pine Island & Fort Myers RV Resort • Pine Island Animal Clinic • Pine Island Realty, Inc. • Realty World Florida • sandy Hook Fish & Rib House • Shevlin Team • Stonegate Bank • Sutton & Associates Insurance Agency, Inc. • Tarpon Lodge • Tropical Kitchen • Waters Edge Motel & Apartments.
Special Thank You goes out to all the volunteers who worked so hard to make MangoMania 2013 a Huge Success. Without your dedication and help the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce could not hold this event. Chamber Director, Jennifer Jennings, the MangoMania committee and the Board of Directors Thank You and hope to see you all in 2014.