Yasmine Tuitt Defends Title at 27th Annual Mango Melee, Wins Mango Eating Competition for Second Straight Year

  • Staff Consortium
  • July 10, 2023

Yasmine Tuitt won the Mango Eating Competition during the 27th Annual Mango Melee at the Botanical Garden in St. George, St. Croix USVI. By. V.I. CONSORTIUM.

The St. George Botanical Garden was abuzz with excitement on Sunday as Yasmine Tuitt, 14, defended her title and emerged as the winner of the Mango Eating Competition for the second consecutive year at the 27th annual Mango Melee. Tuitt's triumph was a highlight in a day filled with lively community camaraderie and vibrant celebration of the local delight, mangoes.

Meanwhile, 9-year-old Anita Thomas won the Mango Eating Competition in the children category, taking home a $30 Sorbetiere Icecream coupon, along with $50 Nate’s Boat House and $50 Grapetree Bay gift certificates.

The Mango Melee, more than a tribute to mangoes, has transformed into a community favorite event for socializing and supporting local vendors. This year, vendors were scattered across the botanical garden with a wide variety of offerings, including a plethora of mango-inspired delicacies, including mango pineapple salsa, mango rum, mango sweet chili sauce, mango cheesecake cups, mango ice cream, mango grilled chicken, and mango summer rolls.

The family-oriented festival was brimming with activities and musical entertainment, including the Guardians of Culture Moko Jumbies, Kids Inflatable Obstacle Course, ‘Mango Dis, Mango Dat’ Cooking Contest, and performances by Fyah Train, Mercy Child, and DJ Shamba.

Among the vendors was Star Bros, linked with Star Bar Restaurant. For the past three years, they have been a fixture at Mango Melee, offering a range of dishes such as lobster and conch pate, fried chicken, local drinks, and their specialty for the day - mango juice. William Cherubin Jr., from the vendor team, expressed the joy of cooking with his family for the community. "The best part of this event for me is my family coming together so that we can cook some good food for people to enjoy," he told the Consortium.

Yasmine-Tuitt-Mango-Melee-23 Yasmine Tuitt won the Mango Eating Competition during the 27th Annual Mango Melee at the Botanical Garden in St. George, St. Croix USVI. (Credit: D.E.A.R. Productions)

On the other hand, the St. Croix Seashell Society, represented by Marcia Taylor, was selling exquisite seashells, with proceeds aimed at supporting their educational outreach and environmental initiatives. Another first-time vendor, W.A.H Juices, enjoyed a successful debut, offering a wide array of locally made juices.

The festival also saw vendors like Alice Henry promoting local rum liquors using fruits from Henry's farm, including enticing flavors like guinep (Spanish Lime), sorrel ginger, and mango.

The Mango Eating Competition, however, wasn't the only contest making waves. The 'Mango Dis, Mango Dat' Cooking Contest recognized numerous participants in several categories. Cruzian Bayou Bistro, Olivia Shoulders, Keianna Bryan, and A. Hiroko Eats took home first-place prizes in the Sips, Salsas & Sauces, Sweets, and Stuff categories, respectively. Additionally, an anonymous participant had the sweet taste of victory, walking away with $600 from the 50/50 raffle.

The 27th annual Mango Melee proved a resounding success, fostering community spirit, supporting local vendors, and delivering a memorable, family-friendly event. As attendees left the garden, they carried with them not just the taste of mangoes, but the anticipation for next year's event.

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