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Aussie Mangoes celebrate the start of summer with Mango Mess-tival

Summer officially arrived in Australia yesterday when two home-grown icons – mangoes and Nippers – came together on Bondi Beach to celebrate the new season at the annual mango Mess-tival.

Hundreds of children from North Bondi – one of the largest children's programs in the country - shrugged off early morning alarms and got stuck into a day-long festival to pay homage to everyone's favourite summer fruit. Nippers of all ages competed on the beach in fast and furious mango-based challenges such as; mango relay races, mango flag races and mango eating competitions.

At the surf clubhouse, mango growers representing the four varieties - Honey Gold, Calypso, Kensington Pride and R2E2 – gave tastings and talked to the public about the subtle differences of each. Even the Sunday sausage sizzle got mango-fied with Bondi locals lining up to get a taste of BBQ'ed mango, contributing to an overall $12,500 in funds raised for the surf club.

Chairman of the Australian Mango Industry, Gavin Scurr said: "Mangoes remind most people of summer, so what better way to welcome in the new season than on Australia's most iconic beach, with the king of summer fruits? We're really happy with how yesterday went – thousands of children, families and Bondi locals got to celebrate with us.

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