For 11 years now, the Pinecrest Business Association has organized the Taste of Pinecrest, a festival to showcase the many restaurants, businesses and services the Village has to offer. This year was different however, in that the event was held outside of Pinecrest.
The 2013 Taste of Pinecrest was held at the brand new South Dade Family YMCA campus (across from The Falls mall). Chairman Mark Soldevilla called it “a perfect combination of community. We wanted to celebrate this great new building with great food, music, people and fun.”
There is little doubt about the success of the combination. The attendance roughly double last year’s event at Pinecrest Gardens and the new YMCA signed up more than 240 new families during the week, more than half on the day of the event alone.
With food being sold using pre-purchased tickets, vendors — serving everything from lobster sliders to salads to BBQ ribs — had brisk business all day long. Many ran out of food 90 minutes before close.
“We sold more tickets in the first two hours than we expected all day,” said Charlotte Donn, assistant vice president of marketing and communications for the YMCA. “We had to rush out and buy more to keep things moving!”
Local and regional bands performed throughout the day, providing a variety of high-quality music for attendees. Soldevilla praised Raf Fiol, a local musician and owner of <kompoz.com>.
“He single handedly took the music we presented to a whole new level,” she said. The kiddie area had several rides, a rockclimbing wall and the obligatory bounce houses. For the adults, there were cooking demonstrations and the ability to learn and connect with Pinecrest business.
“We’re proud to be associated with this premiere event and proud that our grand opening went so well,” said Greater Miami YMCA CEO Alfred Sanchez.
MANGOWOOD EASTER PARADE
There may not be a better neighborhood around for kids than Mangowood, the 300- home community just west of Coral Reef Elementary in Palmetto Bay. For the past 50 years or so, the voluntary homeowners’ association has organized an Easter Bunny parade. The Saturday before Easter 2013 was no exception.
Joined by the police and fire departments, along with some of the Village Councilmembers, the Easter Bunny was chauffeured through the neighborhood’s tree-lined streets to the delight of young and old alike.
“This is a wonderful community and a great event. I’m so pleased to join this Easter celebration,” said Palmetto Bay Mayor Shelley Stanczyk.
Nathan Melouo, 7, was so excited that he literally jumped for joy when he saw the Easter Bunny turn onto his street. He then waved and quickly wished everyone a Happy Easter.
As the parade ended, the Easter Bunny was greeted by more than 100 residents who had joined at three homes to start the annual Easter Egg Hunt. Nine-year old Sophia Oprandi was more excited about the hunt than the opportunity to sit for a photo op with the Easter Bunny.
“I’m kinda scared of him, but I’m going to win the Easter Egg Hunt,” she said. Even 3-year old Natalia Quick with her dad John had a blast.
“This is my first egg hunt,” she said, “and I’m going to find 10 eggs!”
The hunt was organized into three age groups, each assigned to one of the participating front lawns. And with a “Ready, set, go!” from the loudspeaker, the kids were off. Nine oversized eggs were hidden to allow the kids to win a special Easter basket. And wouldn’t you know it, Sophia was a winner!
There is no doubt that Mangowood is something special. The neighborhood also goes all out for other annual events, including Santa’s Parade, the Fourth of July Parade and Air Force Fly-Over, a monster-sized garage sale and a music-filled fall BBQ.
HAL’S HOMEOWNER HELP
The first quarter of 2013 was the speeddating version of real estate! If you are buying or selling, don’t blink. Properties are once again getting offers on their first day and prices are rising. It would be my pleasure to list your home for you and educate you on the latest market trends. Hal Feldman (MiamiHal) is a Realtor with RE/MAX Advance Realty. Contact him with story ideas or real estate questions at www.MiamiHal.com , www.Hal@MiamiHal.com or www.facebook.com/MiamiHal.