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Kona Goes Crazy With Mangos at Festival Saturday

Posted July 17, 2013, 03:35 PM HST Updated July 18, 2013, 06:22 PM HST
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A sampling of the mango mania from a previous Annual Mango Festival. Photo courtesy of Fern Gavelek.

It’s mango time in Kona again, with the fifth annual Mango Festival scheduled for Saturday at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

“Mangos – the richly hued summer orbs that seduce island residents each year with their juicy flavor and fragrance – will be showcased in a variety of horticultural and culinary activities,” organizers said. “In addition, festival goers can enjoy mangolicious treats and smoothies offered by vendors. “

The theme of this year’s festival is Mangos & Mantas with displays on agricultural sustainability and marine conservation from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This year there will also be an amateur recipe contest where local residents will demonstrate the use of mangos in salads, entrees and desserts. Foodie blogger and cookbook author Sonia Martinez will oversee the event.

For professional fare, the Sheraton’s Rays on the Bay will offer samplings of tasty mango-inspired pupus at the festival. These tasty morsels will be featured on the restaurant’s menu afterwards along with refreshing, mango-inspired beverages.

There will also be a presentation by Harold Moodie on grafting mangos, with trees for sale.

The West Hawaii Master Gardeners will provide free advice for home gardeners at their question-and-answer booth, and the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Association will offer information and samples of varieties of mangos grown statewide.

The annual agricultural-themed panel discussion “Keep the Culture in Agriculture While Protecting Our Marine Environment” was expanded to encompass this year’s festival theme.

Panelists include Hector Valenzuela, vegetable crop extension specialist with University of Hawaii at Manoa; soil authority Graeme Sait of Nutri Tech Solutions Australia; and James Wing, a local manta ray expert and representative for the Manta Network, a nonprofit dedicated to the protection and conservation of mantas worldwide.

The festival includes arts and crafts booths and entertainment featuring Kumu Keala Ching, Bolo, Maka, Poncho Man, Auntie Irma’s Kahikina Nahenehe Ohana and Incense & Nouveau Gypsy with Stephanie Bolton.

Also on display will be original festival art by Bruce Sherman and event t-shirts.

For information on the festival, including recipe entry details, visit www.mangofest.org.

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