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Pine Island’s annual Tropical Fruit Festival celebrates the magnificent mango

Fresh Mango Cooler
Fresh Mango Cooler
Carl Slowata

When you think of Southwest Florida’s local tropical fruits, the mango is sure to be near the top of your list. Its tangy flavor pairs well with other tropical fruits and announces the summer season with a capital S.

The mango is a versatile fruit. Island Life tells us that mangos are found in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world and with hundreds of varieties they are the world's most consumed fruit. The mango is the national fruit of India and the Philippines. It is also the national tree of Bangladesh. In India, harvest and sale of mangoes is during March–May Here in Florida, eith its sub-tropical climate the season is later – June to September. Ripe mangos are eaten raw or used in many ways including:

  • Breads, muffins, pies, deserts
  • Smoothies and juices
  • Cream sauce with yogurt and sugar
  • Chutney recipes, jams, preserves
  • Ice cream toppings
  • Curry recipes for fish and chicken

To get you started, try this Mango Cooler recipe, you’ll love it.

Pine Island may not have beaches, but they sure have mangos. Every summer, Pine Island celebrates nature’s bounty with a festival. Pine Island’s Tropical Fruit Fair – Mango Mania will be held this Saturday and Sunday, July 19th and 20th, 2014 Sat. 10 a.m. – 7 p.m - Sun. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.. Mango Mania is a summer festival and celebration of Pine Island’s Mangoes and other tropical fruits. It is a festive, informal and incredibly fun family event.

This year it will be held at the German-American Social Club, 2101 Pine Island Rd,Cape Coral. Admission to the festival is a modest $6 for adults. Children under 10 are free.

The schedule for both days can be found at the Mango Mania website. The festival is packed with fun activities such as contests, live entertainment and informative presentations including Mr. Mango Head, Precision Mango Toss ( children and Adults ), Mango Pie Eating, Mango Hat Parade, Mango Hat Judging, Bounce houses, Generation Gap Relay, World’s Largest Mango Contest, Mango Juggling, World’s Longest Mango Throw, Climbing towers, face painting and more.

Come on out and have some fun that’s easy on the wallet.

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