Pine Island Celebrates Its 20th year of MangoMania Tropical Fruit Festival

More than 7,500 are expected to flock to the German American Social Club for the 20th annual MangoMania Tropical Fruit Fair, sponsored by the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce.

Saturday, July 16th gates open at 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday, July 17th gates open at 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location of event: German American Social Club
2101 Pine Island Road, (S.R. 78), Cape Coral, Florida 33991

Event Tickets are only $6 at the gate, $5 in advance, Kids 10 and under are Free. Advance tickets can be purchased on the event website or Chamber office: 3640 Pine Island Road, Matlacha, Florida 33993.
Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce, lead sponsor of the festival welcomes all to come and enjoy some of what Pine Island has to offer.

The purpose of this annual event is to showcase and celebrate the harvest of Pine Island’s Mangos and other tropical fruits.
As you enter the festival the first thing you will notice is the wonderful smells of different foods cooking and music playing.

MangoMania always kicks off with the singing of the national anthem by "Trailer Park Barbie" and then the pledge of allegiance with color guard presented by the Pine Island Boy Scouts, Troop 20.

100 plus vendors will fill the grounds at the festival with a wide verity of foods from smoked mullet, freshly smoked by Olde Fish House in Matlacha, fish tacos and other great foods. For those who do not like seafood. Check out the polish sausage, hamburgers, BBQ Chicken and Pulled Pork, Pizza and so much more.

MangoMania will offer some cool sweet tasting mango drinks this year. Back by demand our adult drinks that were very popular last year. Budweiser’s specially mixed Mango Beer and other draft beers available. This year you will also be able to enjoy an ice cold craft beer by Budweiser and Dr. Watson’s special mixture of Mango drinks plus non alcohol smoothies for the kids.

Those who attend this year’s event will be greeted by this year’s Mango Queen Summer Dooley and MangoMania mascot Matt Mango. Queen Summer will run all the kid’s contests, such as the hat decorating contest and then the hat parade, followed by the generation gap relay, Mr. Mango Head contest, where you decorate a mango, Mango juggling, Mango Corn Hole and the ever popular Hula Hoop contest.

Did someone say pie eating contest… at the main stage around 2:30 Saturday and Sunday this is the place to be for signups for the ever popular Pie Eating contests. This event got so big the Chairman, Jennifer Jennings had to do two categories one for the kids and one for adults. Pat Burman will start gathering names around 2:00 each day, signup at the beverage ticket booth area in the front of the park. Sign up early to guarantee a spot, they do go fast. Plus make sure to have your cameras ready, it makes for a great photo. Last year 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, “each year we have to add more pies to accommodate all who want to participate. The pie eating contests has gotten so popular everyone wants to be a part of it.”

The event offered plenty of entertainment with a mix of Blues/Rock and Latin music. Saturday’s highlighted artists will be Trailer Park Barbie and the Boys, Ben Jarrell & the Wildwood Weeds, Chasing Dallas and the Hot Flashz Dancers. Sunday lineup will be Ben Prestage, Pine Island Dance and more.

After a little music, food and drink it’s time to do some shopping with the local vendors that fill 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, C & W Fudge from Matlacha offering Homemade Mango Popcorn and Mango Fudge, Olde Fish House Marina, with smoked mullet dip and other great dishes, Pine Island Spice, Jann’s Produce with fresh local fruits and veggies and JMC Landscaping from Bokeelia, with Mango trees, tropical trees, citrus trees and other beautiful plants.
Also get you’re freshly cut Coconut Drink from JMC located in the back of the park by the tasting tent, make sure to pick up a copy of the Program Guide for easy directions to where things are located. If you like we can spice up your Fresh Coconut Drink or other beverages just visit the bar area and have them add a shot of vodka from Tito’s Vodka one of this year’s sponsors or rum from Dr. Watsons in St. James City. MangoMania offers a huge variety of vendors just about everything you can dream of check them all out.

The Tasting tent is always very busy both days with many verities of freshly cut Pine Island Mango. Make sure to stop by and try them all and select your favorite and then you will know which Mango you like the best before purchasing them. Mangos are one of Pine Island best grown fruits. Pine Island grows about 50 of the best tasting varieties right here on the island.

Make sure to get your 50/50 ticket. Only 1000 tickets will be sold each day and one lucky person will win a total of 50% of that day’s tickets sold. Drawing will be at the end of each day and you do not have to be present to win. The chairman will call you and mail you your winnings. Make sure to get your 50/50 tickets at the bar and beverage area in the front of the park. Tickets are one for $5 or five for $20.

The Pine Island Chamber always does a wonderful job with the planning and organizing of this event. They try and have something for everyone. Rides and games for the kids, contests for all ages, so much to do you may want to buy a two day pass.

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) • Tarpon Lodge (Restaurant and Lodging) • Budweiser (adult beverages) • The News-Press (Newspaper) • Ad&PrintCraft (Printing, Website Development, Event Organizing & Marketing) Hole In One (Golf Cart Sales and Rentals, Pine Island Eagle and Cape Coral Breeze (Newspapers). Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Hone Industries (Construction, Seawalls, Demolition and more)
Special Thank You goes out to all the volunteers who work so hard to make MangoMania 2016 a Huge Success. Without your dedication and help the event would not run so smoothly.

A little history about how MangoMania got started:

The first MangoMania was in 1996 and held at Our Lady of The Miraculous Medal Church in Bokeelia.

The idea to do MangoMania come about in 1995 when the Chamber President Jerry Myers, owner of Greider Realty informed the Chamber board, that they had only $37.00 in the checking account and that they could not even pay the electric bill for that month. Jerry suggested to the new board that things had to change. The previous board had hired a “professional” director that, at the time he was fired, left the Chamber with $37 in the bank. The board was left with two options: either sell the building or come up with an idea to make money. The first thing the new board did was re-start the volunteer ambassador program that had been instituted many years’ earlier. There were many Pine Island residents who wanted to volunteer at the Chamber. For the Chamber it saved money and got more residents active in the community and the Chamber.

After discovering the newly revised treasurer’s report, two board members Gail Johnson, owner of Beachouse Lodge and Pat Burman, owner of Ad&PrintCraft and who businesses have been members of the Chamber since 1969 said, to raise some money quickly, we would hold a yard sale this weekend in the Chamber parking lot. The yard sale was a success and raised hundreds of dollars which paid the electric bill and more.

At the very next board meeting Chamber President, Jerry Myers said “I have a field full of Pine Island Mangos that are falling from the trees and rotting. I think we should come up with an event to sell these Mango’s” and that was how MangoMania started.

The first MangoMania was held in 1995. Over 5000 people and 40 Pine Island growers and businesses attended this single day event. It was so successful; the location could not handle the traffic, so the Chamber Board needed to find a larger location to hold this event. In 1996 Pat found a place large enough to hold the event so planning began for the move to a large field behind the old SunTrust Bank on Stringfellow Rd.

This was one of those years where it rained every day, the day before the event it poured and the field was under inches of water. But this did not stop the vendors or the guests from coming. Again they had 1000’s attend the event despite the awful conditions. However, the Chamber board knows that they could not hold MangoMania on this piece of property again. Two years passed and no MangoMania.

Then, after some deliberations, in 1999 acting Chamber President and Chairman of MangoMania, Al Mills (after whom the Chamber award was named) and Vice President and Co-Chairman of MangoMania, Pat Burman, it was decided to start MangoMania back up and hold it at the KOA Camp Grounds St. James City who was kind enough to accept the event there.

From 1999 to 2001 MangoMania was held at the KOA. In 2000, Pat became the MangoMania chairman and the event grew even larger. Although the subject of some controversy, she included the youth in the event and had two different stages, a youth stage with metal music, highlighting local bands like Twisted Method, Swamp Gas, DV8 and SAQ from Fort Lauderdale and a main stage for other contemporary music for visitors not into the metal genre. Thousands of youth and young adults attended from Miami and Fort Lauderdale just to see these soon-to-be-famous bands.

She also offered a full schedule of entertainment on the main stage. The event grew so big KOA could not handle the parking or traffic anymore so MangoMania was on the move again. So she suggested to the Chamber that they start looking for a place large enough to handle the growth of the event, with good parking and good drainage keeping in mind the event is held in July when the mangos are ready but you can always plan on rain.

After months of looking the committee could not find a place on Pine Island to hold the event. She said, “We have a lot of land on the island, but none of it is setup to hold events. I and others have been trying to work with the County for over 40 years to get a place where organizations could hold fundraisers and events safely. In the late 70’s and early 80’s we raised money for a park and the county was suppose to match our funds and also apply a grant to build a park where events could be held. For various reasons, some local and some not, it never happened and 49 years later Pine Island still does not have a place to safely hold events.” So they was forced to move MangoMania off island.

The closest place to Pine Island was the German American Club. Pat and her crew worked their magic and MangoMania went on as planned. She remembered, “It was with great sadness that we lost Al Mills in 2002 while he was working at MangoMania. Al was a huge part of the running of MangoMania and the daily duties of the Chamber office and is still sadly missed”

Pat said, “I am honored to still be a huge part in the planning and organizing of MangoMania. I either co-chaired or chaired MangoMania from 1996-2004 and 2012-2016 and I now love working with the new chairman Jennifer Jennings. We are all looking forward to a great 20th Anniversary celebration of the harvest of Pine Island Mangos and to promote our members and the island. We invite you to come and celebrate with us. See you on July 16th from 10:00am to 7:00PM and July 17th from 10:00am to 5:00pm.”

Chamber Director, Jennifer Jennings, Co-chair Pat Burman, MangoMania committee and Board of Directors Thank You all for coming and hope to see you all in 2017.

For more information call the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce at 239-283-0888 or log on to

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