Grove’s King Mango Strut draws record crowd

Grove’s King Mango Strut draws record crowd

Sierra Club wows crowd with 50 costumed participants in the King Mango Strut Parade.

Crazy, creative, funny Grovites with a quirky mindset for political satire make the Sunday after Christmas every year a memorable event with the King Mango Strut Parade.

This year’s parade on a picture-perfect South Florida day had to be one of the funniest ever with a crowd to match. As always, the Sierra Club had 50 members for their “Sierra Club Loves Global Warming” unit with 50 people dressed as High Rise buildings under water, boats promoting inland Beachfront properties, and the most creative, a woman in a window frame fishing and catching a shark dressed man with her fishing pole and lure.

The Hill Bullies from DC came in suits as did the racy Secret Service float. The empty chair made famous by Clint Eastwood at the Republican Convention was the parade grand marshal, giving you an idea of the hilarity involved in this completely irreverent and often times R-rated parade which was completely opposite of the Junior Orange Bowl Parade held later that same day.

The Junior Orange Bowl featured Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill as grand marshal. For visitors and residents attending these events, Dec. 30 was a great day for adults and children alike.

The Rotary Club of Coconut Grove Foundation has good news for the beginning of the new year. The club received an initial grant of $1,800. This funding will help underwrite The Kampong National Tropical Botanical Gardens program to serve the Barnyard, an organization serving children with financial and domestic hardships in West Coconut Grove, through a free after-school enrichment program held at The Kampong’s botanical garden, research lab and the historic estate of David Fairchild.

Barnyard students travel to The Kampong National Tropical Botanical Garden for two six-week sessions focused on engaging children in building their knowledge of tropical plants, fruits, edible plants, biology, the sciences and art. They even have cooking lessons to encourage healthy food choices and get to taste a wide variety of tropical fruits and edible plants that they have seen at the Kampong Garden. In addition, prominent local artists direct students in artistic endeavors inspired by the landscape.

On Jan.10, Ann Parsons, The Kampong’s executive director, received the check from the Rotary Club of Coconut Grove Foundation for this program and expressed her appreciation. The Rotary Club of Coconut Grove has a history of support for the youth of West Coconut Grove, which includes sponsoring The Titians, a youth football program with volunteers, mentors and funding. The Rotary Club of Coconut Grove also provided a grant from The Rotary Foundation in the amount of $35,000 to the Thelma Gibson Health Initiative’s Youth & Family Services program.

Visting Rotarians are invited to attend this club’s meeting on Thursdays, 12:15 p.m., at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club. Buffet lunch and beverage are $20 for all guests. Reservations are requested in advance, by sending email to

Until next time, keep making each day count.

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About the Author

Gloria Burns
A graduate of the University of Florida with a major in Spanish, Burns has an extensive background in advertising, marketing and reciprocal trade, travel as well as non profit consulting and management. Active in many non profits, she received numerous awards across the community. Among her list of current responsibilities, Burns co-chairs two annual student recognition breakfasts for the Coral Gables Friends of Education; helps coordinate charity partners for the Westin Colonnade's Annual Give Kids the World Breakfast; serves on the board of directors of Doral Business Council; is Parliamentarian and serves on the board of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club; serves the board of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables and is Publicity Chair; and is a member of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee. Gloria is also an active member of the Music Ministry at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, where she sings in the choir. She can be reached at

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