You may know that there was a power struggle two years ago for the right to stage the event in Coconut
Grove. Some wanted it to make it a bigger, more commercial parade (let's call them "The Forces of Darkness") while the others ("The Originals") wanted to keep it small, and simple.
Unfortunately, Darkness prevailed and the original mangoheads were forced to look for a new home. They strutted their stuff in South Miami last year then moved north to the Wynwood Arts District this time around.
They came up with a plan to
march on private property, to be a part Wynwood's Food Truck Festival. The event had been held in an empty lot on NW 2 Avenue for the last two years, a part of the district's monthly art walk.
The Forces of Darkness did their best to stop King Mango from marching a few days ago, on December 10th. Oddly, their constant complaining to City of Miami officials only resulted in shutting down the food truck festival, an event that thousands enjoy. They were unable to keep the Mango King from marching with his friends in the now-empty field.
Fruit fans began to gather there as the sun was setting. "More room to parade!" they said of the strange, surreal set-up. I watched them slowlydrift in, standing on the
back of a big yellow truck. As the parade's director, I had to figure out what do do next.
The Originals decided the 2011 King Mango Strut would began as it always has, with a beauty pageant.
Eight young girls took their places next to me on the Shell Lumber Truck. The "Little Miss Mango Contest" was about to begin for the 30th time.
Each of the contestants told the 200+ gathered why she wanted to win.
"They taste good!" was a popular response. As always, the judges deliberated and decided they all tied for first place. Each girl was crowned "Little Miss Mango" then given flowers and a glittering sash.
Everyone was a winner in this year's Original King Mango Strut.