Hawaii loves its mangoes so much that we created a three-day festival dedicated entirely to the sweet island delight; not to mention, it’ll be happening just in time for the peak harvest season. Mango Mania returns to the Big Island for its fourth year in July and welcomes mango lovers of all ages to enjoy a savory part of Hawaii’s culture.

The many flavors of Hawaii – mangoes, pineapples and bananas.

Luckily, the star of the festival arrived just in time; local farmers had been experiencing a lack of rain during the past few months and worried that their crops would do poorly. But festival coordinators assured us that there will be plenty of mango to go around. You can try it in the form of a dessert, drink, food and even a dance.

The first day of the festival happens in Kealakekua, where a dramatic show of Mango Tango will get people to their feet. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without real edible mangoes. Attendees can enjoy a dessert bar and silent auction that night.

An assortment of baked mango treats. Mango turnovers really do sound magical…

The weekend continues with more juicy jive and celebrates the different mango varieties of the islands. There are many, but some of the popular ones that originates from the islands include Kurashige, Rapoza and Gouveia. Writing about this makes my mouth water! There will, of course, be some mangos for sale. Make sure to pick the reddish-yellow ones if you want to eat them right away; those are sure to be ready and ripe for your enjoyment.

MANGO FESTIVAL 2012 • July 28-29, 2012, 10am-5pm • Keauhou Beach Resort 78-6740 Alii Dr., Kailua Kona, HI 96740 • Free to the public

MANGO TANGO 2012 • July 21, 2012, 630-9pm • New Thought Center in Pualani Terrace on Hwy 11 • $10 ticket donation for dramatic tango show, dessert bar and silent auction • Call 808-887-1292 for tickets

Photo Credit: Fern Gavelek

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