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Fairchild Garden's Mango Festival: A Celebration of Tropical Fruit

The humid weather and threat of rain didn't deter thousands of people from flocking to

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens

to celebrate the mango with music, food, tastings, and a live auction of rare varieties of the sweet fruit.

The festival, held over two days, featured a host of opportunities to eat mangoes with a mango brunch, cooking demonstrations, a mango market, and the annual auction of rare fruit.

There was mango ice cream, mango lemonade, mango juice, mango wheat beer, mango chicken wings, mango rugelach, and mango wine to enjoy. And, in case you didn't have enough of a mango fix, a forest of baby mango trees were offered for sale so you could "grow your own" for future celebrations.

See also: Mango Festival 2013: Mango Beer by Schnebly, Mango Sticky Rice by Khong, Mango Melt by Chef Susser

The mango tasting room offered a half dozen different varieties to try, then asked for you to vote for your favorites. The champagne from Mexico was super sweet with virtually no fibers.

Mango lemonade was a refreshing treat to beat the heat.

Though mango was king other exotic fruits, like the rambutan, were available at the festival.

Chef Allen Susser was on hand to serve up some grilled cheese and mango sandwiches.

Different varieties of mango were available for purchase, direct from Fairchild farms.

Love mangoes? Plant a tree and in a few years you'll have them in your own backyard.

The culmination of the festival is the annual mango auction, where rare varieties fetch high prices. This year, a basket of rare Alphonsos were sold for $225.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

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