The 33rd King Mango Strut
WRAP NOTES FOR THE 2014 KING MANGO STRUT
Serendipity: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
Perhaps this is the perfect description of the 33rd King Mango Strut. December 28, 2014 was a balmy day with little wind and enough cloud cover to keep both the crowd and the performers from overheating. We began, as always, with the Little Miss (and Mr.) Mango Contest. Our youngest Strutters showed their enthusiasm as they boarded the Shell Lumber Truck to wave to the crowd. A special acknowledgement to our own Patio who lifted and placed the last two Little Miss Mangoes on the truck after the stairs had been removed. They were winners and deserved to participate.
Our Grand Marshall, Governor Rick Scott, after delaying his entrance until all electronics had been banished (or not. It seems he has an inordinate fondness for having his picture taken) entered the parade route on his In Your Face Victory Tour but was waylaid by his arch-nemesis and former Republican (then Independent, then Democrat, future Green Party) Governor Charlie Crist. After reprising the solemnity of their famous debate, with pillowcases no less, the two joined together to strut their stuff. They were followed, although not too closely, by our Celebrity Guest, the inimitable Ed “Two-Tone” Bell. Ed, who we have somehow persuaded to publicize the Strut on his WLRN show over the years, was dutifully impressed with his honor. He even brought his own convertible to ensure, unlike last year, that his vehicle would complete the parade route.
Of course, the main event was the performers and their acts. From the Pineland Butterflies capturing Developers to the North Korean Hackers; from Tollmageddon to the Texting and Sexting Seniors; from the SOB’s (Save Our Bees) to Monica Lewinsky’s book tour; and of course, the Fearbola group sanitizing the crowd for our protection, the satire was broad and entertaining to say the least. All the performers, those mentioned and those who I can’t because space will not allow, have our hearty thanks and appreciation for excellent ideas and presentation.
Finally, this Strut will always be remembered for the quantity and quality of the music, both during and after the parade. In the parade we had five rock bands: Mr. Nice Guy, Iko-Iko, Roadkill, Memphis Kelly Band and School of Rock. All of which played the after-party except the last band. We also were regaled with the bagpipes and drums of the Emerald Isle Kilt Walkers, the Coconut Grove Drum Circle and of course the Coconut Grove Progressive (Funeral) Band. We actually had so many bands that some acts during the parade had difficulty getting their own sound systems loud enough to be heard. But the after-parade party will long be remembered as one of the best ever.
The King Mango Strut would like to thank the following who made this Strut one of the most memorable ever: the donors, performers, bands, and volunteers who helped make everything possible. And most of all we would like to thank the audience, the people who come to the Grove to show their appreciation for the hard work, and the sense of fun, which all the participants share in this “labor of love”.
In closing, I’ve been asked how we came up with the theme of this year’s event: “Life is Just Ebola Cherries”. Actually, it was a perfect example of the serendipity which characterized this parade. We didn’t know it at the time, but the phrase: Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries” came from a song circa 1931 by R. Henderson which has the lyric:
People are queer, they’re always crowing, scrambling and rushing about
Why don’t they stop someday, address themselves this way?
Why are we here? Where are we going? It’s time that we found out
We’re not here to stay; we’re on a short holiday
Life is just a bowl of cherries
Don’t take it serious; it’s too mysterious
You work, you save, you worry so
But you can’t take your dough when you go, go, go
So keep repeating it’s the berries
The strongest oak must fall
The sweet things in life, to you were just loaned
So how can you lose what you’ve never owned?
Life is just a bowl of cherries
So live and laugh at it all
Doesn’t this fit the King Mango Strut to the proverbial “T”? We look forward to seeing you again on Sunday, December 27, 2015 when King Mango will return to the streets of Coconut Grove for the 34th edition of the King Mango Strut,. Remember to: ”Live and laugh at it all…” until then.
2014 KING MANGO STRUT VIDEO IS HERE
Watch the entire King Mango Strut 2014 Parade from start to finish
You tube Clip 4 1/2 minutes
King Mango Strut Annual Parade Rocks Coconut Grove on
Sunday, December 28, 2014
This year’s theme: “Life is just ebola cherries”
COCONUT GROVE, FLORIDA – The 33rd annual King Mango Strut marches down the streets of Coconut Grove on Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, at 2 p.m., where South Florida’s wackiest citizens come out to entertain the masses with the biggest newsmakers of the year. Our country has had a rough year, but things look good in the future, so the parade is themed around the slogan “Life is just ebola cherries.”
Among the hilarious acts, expect to see “FanGate” – remembering the debate that blew us all away; “Invasion of the White House: Intruder Alert!;” “Taken by Tolls on the 836 and 112;” and “Charles Manson’s Wedding.
The King Mango Strut goes beyond watching — it’s engaging fun for the entire family. The event starts with the Little Miss Mango and Little King Mango pageant, where every kid wins, and rides the float to lead the parade. Following the Grand Marshal and Little Mangoes, the laughter will ensue as groups engage crowds along the route in an interactive review of the most entertaining happenings of 2014. Following the parade, Commodore Plaza will explode with four live bands for an after-party until 6:00 p.m., and plenty of photo opportunities with the Mangoheads.
This year’s Grand Marshall is Rick Scott, Governor of Florida, on his “In Your Face Victory Tour.” We will also have Guest Celebrity Ed Bell, of WLRN, in honor of his 44 years of broadcasting and promoting music in South Florida, as well as his promoting the King Mango Strut.
The real stars are your friends and neighbors. This parade is produced entirely by volunteers who make the props, signs, and floats, and preparations to entertain, for months ahead. Come out for a classic South Florida event, or join the Strut by filling out a free Entry Form.
The parade begins with the dropping of the banana at 2:00 p.m., at Commodore Plaza and Main Highway, runs to Grand Avenue, makes a hard left, and heads back to Commodore. Early arrival is suggested to get the best viewing spots. Children who want to participate in the Little Miss Mango and Little King Mango pageant and ride the float should arrive at Commodore Plaza by 1 p.m. (no special outfits needed). The parade ends with an after party on Commodore Plaza, with local bands Iko-Iko, Roadkill, Mr. Nice Guy, and Memphis Kelly rocking until 6:00 p.m.
Keeping the NUT in CocoNUT Grove
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***** 33rd KING MANGO STRUT *****
SUNDAY, DEC. 28TH, 2 P.M., COCONUT GROVE
Presenting the 2014 King Mango T-Shirt and Poster
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Miami should have been the theme of the 2013 Strut. Yet, once again, the King emerged unscathed although slightly damp. It seemed a close thing when the banana dropped, especially when you could see Mayor Regalado and Commissioner Sarnoff going over the newest Miami city government project since Grove Harbor: the Coconut Grove Ark. Yet, the rain stopped in the nick of time and allowed the Strutters and bands to perform. The crowd of dedicated Strut watchers seemed to appreciate what King Mango brought to the streets for their entertainment.. The court jesters were again out in force from the Children of the Genetically Modified Corn to our favorite clown cleaning up after the parade.
Special thanks to the Little Miss and Mr. Mangos who gamely rode the float at the beginning of the parade, smiling and waving to the crowd while being drenched. Also to our Grand Marshal Rob Ford for his gracious acceptance of the Key to the City from Mayor Regalado and the other parting gifts from well-wishers in the crowd (by the way Mayor Ford, it was flour in those baggies-this may be Miami but we do have some standards). And we would like to especially recognize our Local Celebrity Joe Donato and the Iko-Iko band. When the car carrying Mr. Donato broke down at the start of the parade, he quickly climbed aboard and joined the Iko-Iko band and together they serenaded the crowd. “The show must go on” takes on new meaning when you see such professionalism and courtesy extended with the goal of entertaining our audience.
Finally we would like to thank all those who made the Strut possible; the volunteers, performers, bands and especially the audience. Although we say that neither rain nor snow nor slime can keep King Mango from strutting, without all of you and your positive can-do attitude, keeping the NUT in Coconut Grove would have been much harder if not impossible. So, here’s to the 2013 Strut and we will be back for the 33rd Annual King Mango Strut on December 28, 2014 when once again the king will take over the streets of Coconut Grove.
On a sadder note: On Friday, December 27, a dedicated volunteer and friend of the Strut, Mike Elder passed away. Many of you knew Mike. For years he was the gatekeeper at Commodore and Grand, and last year he ran the line-up of the parade. At this year’s Strut, his widow, Jane Reilly accompanied by their sons, Buck and Mike dropped the banana to begin this year’s parade. He will be sorely missed.
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Richard Fendelman’s www.artsandculturetv.com