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

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

The festival offers various activities such as sales of tropical plants, trees and fruits, a recipe contest, a competition for the biggest mango, creative mango games for children of all ages, live music, food and drinks made from mangoes and tropical fruits, planting seminars, arts, crafts and island businesses.

Although the event is free, a $5 donation is appreciated at the door to benefit the island’s economic recovery and Samaritan Health and Wellness at Beacon of Hope. This event will feature local entertainment starting at 9 a.m.

“DJ Isaac will kick off the day with some great songs. At 12:45 p.m. people can experience one of our island favorites, Rudy Cox, live on stage,” said Welch.

She also reminds everyone to join in on the fun of the Mango event, such as the recipe contest. Sign up between 9 and 11 a.m. Remember to sign up and drop off your mango bread, dessert, jam, salsa or condiments at the food contest tent.

There’s even more fun to be had at the Mango Maniac Contest. If you have the biggest mango on Pine Island, you can win a prize. Weigh-in begins at 12:00 noon at the seminar tent. Winners will be announced at 12:30 p.m. A full list of contest categories can be found on the Chamber’s website.

Design your own Mr. Mango head before the competition or on the festival grounds between 9am and 11:30am.

There will also be seminars where you can meet with island experts in the seminar tent to learn more about the mango. Steve Cucura of FruitScapes Fruit Market will tell you about the history of the Pine Island mango. Har Madeem will teach you the art of grafting your mango tree and Matt Reece will talk about mango varieties. Jay Reynolds of Treehouse Permaculture Farm will give a seminar. Tim Watkins will explain how to prune mangoes to control the size of the tree and produce fruit. Erica Klopf will teach you perennial gardening with mangoes and Donna Schneider of Pine Island Tropicals will teach you canning and cooking with mangoes and tropical fruits. Activities and schedules can be found at PineIslandChamber.org.

“Overall, MangoMania is a celebration of everything mango, where farmers and enthusiasts come together to enjoy the bounty of this popular fruit. We need the support of everyone on the island more than ever. So if you are passionate about mangoes or just want a fun day with family and friends, be sure to put MangoMania on your calendar. It is an experience not to be missed,” said Welch.

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