Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, but none comes close to matching when Mangowood bands together for its annual neighborhood garage sales.
“We had 75 participating houses last year and this year we exceeded that,” said organizer George Tabor.
This tight-knit Palmetto Bay community tends to do lots of things together and for bargain hunters the Mangowood garage sales are like Mecca.
“I come with an empty pick-up truck and shop from the moment they start to get the best bargains,” said Linda Kleigel of Pinecrest.
From trinkets worth a dime to large items, the bargaining went on for hours. During the hours when Tabor scanned the neighborhood to see who was participating, he happened upon a red 1962 convertible Corvette.
“If I wasn’t on official duty at the time, I would have bought it on the spot,” he said. “Oh, and I also didn’t have my cash with me and they wouldn’t take credit cards.”
Several of the homes use their sales proceeds to make donations to worthy causes and to raise money for various youth organizations. Hunter White, 12, worked with his fellow Howard Palmetto Aces teammates (12 & under youth baseball) to raise money for their upcoming trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Their efforts brought in $1,200 toward the $25,000 needed to make the trip a reality.
Jim Wierman, a resident since 1958, sold cold drinks, along with his garage sale items. Others homes had barbecued hot dogs and baked goods out for purchase. Strolling the Mangowood blocks made you feel more like you were at a block party than at a mass garage sale event. It was a good time and shopping rolled into one.
Smart neighbors outside of Mangowood took advantage by also holding their yard sales at the same time. It was almost like a Village-wide shopping mall. If you missed this one, there’s always next year. Bring your money and your bargaining skills. It’s quite a lot of fun!
ANNUAL PALMETTO BAY CELEBRATION PICNIC
Despite cool temperatures and gray skies, Palmetto Bay once again threw itself a grand old picnic on March 2 for almost 5,000 people. The annual Coral Reef Park event celebrates the Village’s 2002 incorporation.
Kicked off by Village Manager Ron Williams, Mayor Shelley Stanczyk, Councilman Patrick Fiore and Councilwoman Joan Lindsay, the fun-filled day included lots of food, activities and some specialty areas.
The Palmetto Bay Policing Unit, led by D.A.R.E. Officer Peter Judge, handed out and fitted residents with free bike helmets.
“It’s so great to have the Village provide donated safety equipment to our kids,” said Sandra van Hooijdonk, who had a helmet fitted for her two-year old daughter Alina.
Strolling around the park, there was the obligatory bounce house and kids’ activity area, cotton candy and popcorn stands, a public safety demonstration and there was singing, dancing and live music performances by area children’s groups under the main gazebo.
Special events supervisor Mary Fernandez provided some impressive food statistics.
“We have 3,0,0 hot dogs, 3,000 donuts, 2,500 pizza slices, 2,000 bags of chips, over 2,000 ears of corn and more than 5,000 drinks, and they’ll all be gone in a few hours,” she said.
I can attest that the food was quite tasty, gone quickly and, as Councilman Fiore put it, “Why not? It’s all free for our residents!”
“My husband cooks the corn and I hand it out,” said Palmetto Bay resident and 10-year veteran picnic attendee Pat Gladieux. “We enjoy the day very much and would never miss it.”
She went on to explain that the organic Homestead-grown corn had been picked just a day prior to the picnic.
Jessica Rio took her one-year-old daughter Isabella around for her first Palmetto Bay picnic.
“She likes the bounce houses, the music, the cheerleaders and all the other kids,” said Rio while agreeing that the entire picnic was unique and very special.
Living in South Florida certainly has its perks, but it is extraordinary to be able to attend an event like this. It’s like living in the Happy Days era right here in 2013.
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