Mango mania returns to Kona for the fourth annual Mango Festival with activities on three days.
First up is the Mango Tango Dance and Desserts FUNdraiser July 21 in Kealakekua at the New Thought Center in Pualani Terrace on Hwy. 11. Admission is a $10 donation and fun includes a dramatic show of tango dancing, dessert bar and silent auction from 6:30-9 p.m. For ticket info, phone 887-1292.
Mango Tango proceeds benefit New Thought Center, a sanctuary for the nourishment, development and evolution of each individual’s unique spiritual path, and the free, two-day community Mango Festival.
Geared for mango lovers of all ages, the Mango Festival returns to the Keauhou Beach Resort 10 a.m.-5 p.m. for a full weekend of juicy jive July 28-29. The free festival celebrates Hawaii’s delicious and diverse mango varieties during the peak of the harvest season.
Ken Love, president of the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, says this year’s mango season looks good. “Although there have been limited rains, what we had came at the right time,” notes Love. “Diversifying mango crops by variety has helped to increase the overall quantity as flowering takes place at difference times. Overall, growers do a much better job of field sanitation, which has also helped to increase local production.”
Love is part of the event’s agricultural and educational offerings on Saturday. Attendees can also enjoy culinary demonstrations using mango and a mango-themed recipe contest for non-professional chefs.
Arts and crafts, mango-themed desserts and drinks, plus fresh produce will be offered both days. The focus on Sunday’s fun will be entertainment, with a non-stop medley of music and performing arts, including dramatic hula and a Belly Dance Extravaganza on the scenic, palm-fringed grounds of the resort’s Royal Garden.
Both the Mango Tango FUNdraiser and the free community Festival are presented by the non-profit Sanctuary of Mana Ke‘a Gardens. The community is invited to collaborate, support and participate. Exhibitor booths for July 28-29 are available for businesses and non-profit organizations. Volunteers are encouraged to help with festival day activities, speaker support and workshops. For info, contact event organizer Randyl Rupar at 808-334-3340.
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