Tropical fruit aficionados will head in droves to Colorfield Farms on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to check out Anne Pidgeon's fourth annual Mango Festival. And if she has her way, they won't be disappointed.
"People who have never had a tree-ripened mango have no idea how the fruit really tastes," Pidgeon said. "The ones they get in the store are usually picked and shipped green from Mexico. They blush before they're ripe, have lots more fiber and much less flavor."
Last year, more than 1,500 people came from all over South Shore, Brandon, Tampa and even Bradenton.
Mangoes, of course, are the stars of this event. Between the trees, fruit and free samples, more than 30 varieties will be represented. Pidgeon has three new varieties to showcase: Coconut Cream, Graham and Juliette, each with their own distinctly different flavor.
The laid-back event also features the live steel-drum music of Ken Moolenaar and his Calypso Sound band; culinary demonstrations; growing seminars; and guest speakers.
There will be plenty of food, too. New this year is a mini-food-truck rally featuring Michelle Faedo's On the Go, the winner of the Tampa's first Cuban Sandwich Festival. Three other trucks will also be there. Fresh mango slushies, smoothies and frozen Mexican paletas will be sold.
Mangoes and other tropical fruit and trees will be sold, along with native and butterfly plants, local honey, herbs and other products from the Colorfield Farms nursery and garden center.
Admission is $5. Children 5 and younger and people 80 and older get in free, and there is free parking and a free shuttle service.
"It's fun, it's casual and there will be lots of good things to eat," Pidgeon said. "We invite everyone to come learn about mangoes under the shade of our grandfather oaks. It's a relaxing way for folks to spend part of their day."
For additional information, call (813) 833-2545 or visit www.colorfield.com
If you go
What: Colorfield Farms fourth annual Mango Festival
Where: 8221 State Road 674, Wimauma
When: Friday through Sunday
Cost: $5 admission; kids younger than 6 and seniors 80 and older are free; free parking and shuttle
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; seminars, 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.
Information: Call (813) 833-2545 or visit www.colorfield.com.