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CaribPics: 15th Annual Mango Melee and Tropical Fruit Festival-St. Croix, VI


Over the weekend (Sunday) I had the pleasure of attending the 15th Annual Mango Melee and Tropical Fruit Festival on  St. Croix. This was a new experience for me as I had never attended the event or been to the botanical gardens. As I walked through the pathways of the St. George Village Botanical Gardens, I took in not only the beautiful surroundings but also the aroma of fruits and cooked food alike. Vendors lined the paths with tropical drinks, fruits for sales, pastries, local delicacies, arts and crafts, and plants all for sale. I especially enjoyed a fruit-filled smoothie by the Country Snack Stand (their located on Mahogany Road in the Rain Forest).

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The event, which benefits the botanical garden, features food and craft vendors, educational workshops, culinary competitions, mango eating contests, mango and tropical fruit tastings, a mega-mini mango contest,  garden tours, and a silent fruit auction. Approximatley 4,000 attendees came out this year in support of the event.

This year’s “Mango Dis, Mango Dat”  Competition winners included:

Professional

Sweets – Sue Lakos, Mango Crunch

Stuff – Ralston and Eunice Ambrose, Mango Chicken Fiesta

Amateur

Sips –1st Martha Jean-Pierre- Martha’s Specialty 2nd-Zandra Petersen- Mango Liqueur

Salsa – 1st Don Bailey- Tarragon Mango Dip; 2nd Patasha Tracey- Spicy Mango Salsa

Sweets – 1st Sharon Grimes- Mangoes on Snow; 2nd Debi George- Mango Peach Crisp

Stuff – 1st Zandra Petersen- Mango Bread; 2nd Zandra Petersen- Mango Butter

Winners of the mango eating competition:

Junior Division-Adrian Pierce Encarnacion

Adult Division-Olubayo Kaza

The event concluded with a silent auction of fruits in the Great Hall and a crowd dancing to the Electric Slide on the front lawn.

Check out this video courtesy of CBS News 2 VI:

For more  information on the event and St. George Village Botanical Gardens visit: www.sgvbg.org

@JozBiz