So, you say you love the idea of the posh Jade Mountain Mango Festival that we told you about last week, but don’t quite have the budget for all that luxury? Never fear. The Caribbean offers a number of similarly fabulous mango festivals each summer packed with fun and filling activities suited for most anyone and most any budget. Here are three that you can still have time to enjoy this year…
St. Croix Mango Melee – July 7, 2013
You know we’re going to be biased about this one, considering it’s held every year on our home island of St. Croix. The event goes down at the St. George Village Botanical Garden, which you should check out, mango festival or no mango festival, whenever you visit St. Croix. Normally, the Garden provides a peaceful retreat where visitors can learn all about the island’s vibrant tropical flora and history while also exploring restored buildings and ruins of an 18th century sugar cane plantation and an Amerindian settlement that dates back to c.100 A.D.
During Mango Melee, however, the vibe is decidedly more upbeat and festive, fueled in part by the many wildly inventive mango-themed cocktails on offer for the grown-ups and a lively kids mango-eating contest that always draws laughs. Cooking competitions, mango displays and educational workshops round-out a full day of mango fun.
For more information, visit the St. George Village Botanical Garden website.
Trinidad & Tobago Mango Festival – July 7, 2013
More bias!, this time tapping into our Trini roots, though I’m not sure anyone in our family has ever been to this event. It’s still pretty new, and apparently has experienced its share of growing pains… Still, it sounds like good fun, with horse and pony rides, games, and “mango-sucking,” and “smell and name the mango” contests that speak to the truest of West Indian sensibilities.
For more information, call Ms. Chanelle Joseph at the University of the West Indies at Tel: 1-868-319-1833 or Dr. Sharon Hutchinson, also at UWI, at Tel: 1-868-684-4432.
Mango Array & Tropical Fruit Festival, Tortola – July 19, 2013
Another recent entry to the mango festival scene, this Tortola fete started in 2009 as a means of showcasing the many varied culinary uses for the region’s favorite fruit, while also encouraging local businesses to use ’em more often. Oh yeah, it’s also meant to be fun! Bobbing for mangoes, face painting, and the ubiquitous mango-eating competition keep the party going for the kids, while moms and dads learn about planting, cultivating, and cooking with mangoes – fun for everyone.
For more on the Tortola mango fete, contact the BVI Tourist Board at Tel: 800-835-8530.