Mangowood’s Block Party

When it comes to great bedroom communities, it’s hard to beat Palmetto Bay’s Mangowood. Established in 1958, these nearly 300 single-family houses are home to some of the happiest owners around…and with good reason.

In November of each year, this voluntary Citizens’ Association elects its new board members and throws itself an evening block party. It’s one of several neighborhood events scheduled throughout the year, including a 4th of July parade (complete with an Air Force flyover), huge multi-block garage sale and police/fire truck-escorted Easter Bunny and Santa events. They even have house decoration awards for Halloween and Christmas.

Pam Tabor, this year’s Mangowood President, explained, “We’ve done this for about 30 years now. It used to be a cocktail party and board elections, but then we decided to expand it to include all family members.”

(Right front) Rose Van Patten, resident since 1970 and Mangowood Director Emeritus, gets her food

The block party drew several hundred people out to a tented area over SW 151st Street where each resident brought a dish that serves 10. They also served catered food to make sure there was plenty. The 100-foot serving line was certainly diverse and colorful. There was also live music throughout the night, provided by The Fabulons.

The kids even got to climb a rock wall. 9-year old Marcus Durand (pictured on the wall) tried a few times. “I’m going to make it to the top next time,” he declared.

Steve Gunn has been a Mangowood resident for 50 years. He explains, “For a voluntary $30/year, we do a lot of great things for our neighbors. We’re very proud of what we do.” It certainly shows, as people tend to stay here and hand their houses down to the next generation.