Scene of a past Mango Melee Event By VI CONSORTIUM
For the first time ever, the annual Mango Melee event on St. Croix — one of the largest family gatherings with yearly attendance in the thousands — will be brought to viewers at home and abroad virtually this Sunday on the VI Consortium's Facebook platform and website beginning at 4:00 p.m.
With the Covid-19 pandemic causing the ban of large gatherings, Mango Melee organizers decided that a year would not pass without putting on the highly anticipated affair.
Amy Parker DeSorbo, director of events and rentals at St. George Village Botanical Gardens, invited all to tune in. "This is not only our biggest fundraiser of the year to support the Garden's operational budget, it is our biggest give-back to our community," she said. "This year we are promising to raise island morale; we need this to provide a sense of normalcy in this troubled times."
Mrs. DeSorbo expressed gratitude to the VI Consortium for partnering with the Garden to bring the virtual Mango Melee event to viewers. People will be able to enjoy events such as Mango Education; Garden Executive Director Dewey Hollister will host The Farmers Mango Experience. Other activities include Mango Art, hosted by SGVBG Board Member Cynthia Goldberg; mango cooking tips and recipes, Mango Cocktails, Coral Fire Dancers, the world Famous Mango Eating Competition for children and adults hosted live by Positive T Nelson and Rocki from Mongoose in the Morning.
This year for the Mango Eating Competition viewers will be entertained by a VIP group of participants. "You need to watch to see who is participating!" exclaimed Mrs. DeSorbo. The mangoes were donated by Seaside.
There's also a very first Mango Horse Eating competition at The Pony Club arranged by Lisa Hollister, that will be streamed live as part of the event. It's being hosted by Betty Anderson, a member of SGVBG Board of Governors.
Joanie Kupfer, another member of SGVBG Board of Governors and Membership Chair, will announce the kickoff of "Membership Melee", inviting families to join SGVBG for the Family Rate of only $100. Garden Members enjoy free entry to the Garden and 400 others on non-event days, and 10 percent off purchases in the Nursery and Museum Store.
This year's Mango Melee, the 24th annually event, is sponsored by the USVI Dept of Tourism, VIYA, Seaside, The Mall of St. Croix, Plaza Extra East, Cultured Naturals Body Care, Leslie Stillwagon, JKC Communications, Isle 95, Mongoose, VI Consortium, KDM Productions, KGP, AARP, Cruzan Rum and Absolute Vodka.
The event's official hand sanitizer is sponsored by Cultured Natural, made locally by Nurse Ramone Reid with Breadfruit Alcohol Aloe Vera and Essential Oils — all sourced locally on St. Croix. The live events will be socially distancing and using hand sanitizers showing the true Island experience during Covid-19, the Garden said.
Amy Parker DeSorbo is inviting viewers to purchase stars during the program on VI Consortium's Facebook platform. All funds raised will go to SGVBG's operational budget so the mission of education conservation and preservation carries on, the Garden said.