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Updated: 07/16/2014 08:00:01AM

It's Mango Mania time in Matlacha

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PHOTO PROVIDED
Mango Mania Queen, Valerie Hedman, has been traveling throughout Lee County promoting Pine Island's Tropical Fruit Fair scheduled on July 19 and 20 at the German American Social Club in Matlacha, Cape Coral.

PHOTO PROVIDED
Kids at last year's Mango Mania Festival were happy to show off their new shirts.

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Hot Flashz Dancers will be performing at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Matlacha Mango Mania Festival in Cape Coral.

PHOTO PROVIDED
A new tee shirt design by Joanna will adorn tee shirts for sale at this weekend's Mango Mania Festival.

FILE PHOTO

By CHRIS KOURAPIS

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Plan to visit Matlacha, a little piece of Old Florida, this weekend. Mango Mania, now celebrating its 18th year, is a festival that promises to draw more than 8,000 attendees of all ages and interests.

It's all about mangos, of course, but it's also an opportunity to learn about "Florida's Creative Coast" and Greater Pine Island. Pine Island is 18 miles long, 2 miles wide, and consists of five unique communities that are located just off Florida's Southwestern Gulf Coast. It's hard to imagine that these secluded small towns, surrounded by mangroves, aquatic preserves, and acres of tropical plants, are only 15 minutes away from busy Cape Coral and 30 minutes away from Fort Myers.

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