The Mangowood section of Palmetto Bay is a close-knit, family-oriented community of about 300 homes. It formed its volunteer civic association back in 1958 and has been enriching the lives of its homeowners ever since. And Mangowood residents sure know how to celebrate the holidays together.
Case in point, Easter. Every year the Easter Bunny parades down every street in the neighborhood riding in the back seat of a convertible, spreading cheer and inviting kids to the Egg Hunt.
“We love this event, it gets better every year,” said the Easter Bunny’s chauffeur Stanley Kowlessar.
After each front yard has been visited, everyone convenes on SW 83rd Place for the main event.
“It’s basically organized chaos,” said Mangowood Association board member Robert Rossano, “but the kids have a great time and it’s one of the ways we make Mangowood a special place to live.”
With 250 neighbors enjoying each other’s company, taking photos with the Easter Bunny, eating cake, cookies and candy, it’s finally time for the Easter Egg hunt. And with 1,000 eggs hidden on neighboring lawns, Association president Paul Clark announces, “5, 4, 3, 2, 1… GO!”
It wasn’t long until all the eggs were in baskets and the kids (and their parents) were happily exhausted. Sisters Victoria and Madison Johnson were among the egg hunt winners who found special eggs that scored them Easter baskets filled with goodies.
“My mom helped me find the gold egg and the fire trucks and Easter Bunny went right by my house,” said Natalia Quick, with dad by her side.
I’ve covered Mangowood for years and there is nowhere better for a family to live. Besides Easter, Mangowood celebrates the Christmas, Halloween and 4th of July holidays together.
PALMETTO BAY FOOD & COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL
On April 4, outdoor festival creators Florida Rock Stars drew a large crowd to the Ludivici Amphitheater behind the public library for the Palmetto Bay Food & Country Music Festival.
With the success of the event, Florida Rock Stars proved country music could be just as big a draw as their past rock South Florida festivals.
“Palmetto Bay is a great neighbor and country is my favorite music genre, so I’m loving it!” said Pinecrest Councilwoman Cheri Bell.
“This is amazing, I can’t believe we’re having a country concert right here.” Gloria Anderton added.
Homestead’s 16-year old Jade Sanders kicked off the day. Cutler Bay’s Cutler Stew took the crowd for a ride through some country favorites.
As dusk set in, it was time for Fort Lauderdale’s Rough Shot to heat up the stage.
“We scour the music scene to find some of the best acts around,” said organizer Richard DiBenedetto.
Palmetto Bay’s Ludivici Park is ideal for shows drawing up to 6,000 people. The location is surrounded by nature, gets a breeze from Biscayne Bay and the above-stage meeting room turns into a great airconditioned VIP area where you can eat, drink and watch a live feed of the music being performed below.
As the moon rose, so too did the energy with Cape Coral’s Grayson Rogers Band. And, while I’m not sure if it was the full moon or something else, I can tell you the night turned special when the headliner took to the stage. County Line Road put on a blistering set and when the kids started rockin’ they were invited on stage and included in the act. The more the kids rocked out, the more the fans enjoyed.
Both Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn and Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine-Cava remarked how perfect the event and venue were for each other.
Florida Rock Stars will return to the same spot in November for their fourth annual Palmetto Bay Food & Rock Festival.
Take a look and listen to the festival at http://tinyurl.com/PBcountry2015
REAL ESTATE UPDATE
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Hal Feldman is a Realtor with RE/MAX Advance Realty. Contact him with story ideas or real estate questions at www.MiamiHal.com.