Looking back on our childhood, we all have idyllic memories of certain events. Whether it was riding bikes around town, baking a cake with Mom, winning the big youth sports event or celebrating a birthday, the memory brings a smile.
In the Mangowood section of Palmetto Bay, those memories are aplenty. During a year-round schedule to create childhood memories, this family-oriented neighborhood Association celebrates Easter like it's the 1950s.
It starts with a parade around town with Village councilmembers, police cars, a fire truck and neighborhood golf carts and cars chauffeuring the Easter Bunny to anxiously awaiting kids at the edge of their lawns.
“We love this event. It gets better every year,” explained Bunny chauffeur Stanley Kowlessar.
After every yard has been visited, everyone convenes on SW 83rd Place for the main event. Easter host homeowner, Kim Byrd, boasts, “I love this day. The kids have a blast, the neighbors talk, we all enjoy each other’s company. There’s just such a sense of community, of being a big family.”
After nearly 200 people enjoy the photo opportunity with the Easter Bunny… after cake, cookies and candy, it’s Association President Robert Rosanno who starts the egg hunt. “There are three lawns, each has an age group. The kids who find the special golden eggs will win a big Easter basket.” And with that, and a ‘on your mark, get set, go!’ the kids scrambled upon the 1000 hidden eggs.
It wasn’t long until all the eggs were in baskets and the kids (and their parents) were happily exhausted. Village Councilman Patrick Fiore remarked, “This is what its all about. I love being a part of these Mangowood celebrations and seeing all these wonderful people out here on a great day.”
Mangowood formed its volunteer citizens’ Association in 1958 and has been enriching the lives of its homeowners ever since.