by Myndi Brogdon
Apple tree branches are bending under the weight of their red and green fruit. A nip is in the air, autumn leaves are on the verge of change and so it must be time for the Seventh Annual Apple Festival.
The Community Center will come alive again from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday with every apple treat imaginable.
The favored apple pie contest will put the community's best bakers on display, and three local judges will taste each contestant's submission.
A $25 prize for first place is up for grabs in each of the contest's two categories.
It's not too late to enter. Just bring two pies of the same recipe to the community center by noon.
One pie will be used for judging and the other will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. You can enter the Best Traditional Two-crust Apple Pie category or the Best Variation Apple Pie.
If you don't bake, then how about making a scarecrow and entering it in the Best Scarecrow contest? Participants must enter their creations by 9 a.m. The scarecrows will be judged and used to decorate the hall.
The festival also will feature apples by the bag, apple pies -- whole or by the slice -- apple cider, apple bobbing contests, candied apples, soda, lemonade and coffee.
If you're looking for entertainment, then look no further. Peggy Tipolt will play from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Local author Mike Anderson will be on hand to sign his book, "The Place in the Land -- the settlement of Pine, Arizona" and local character Paul Reeves will be available to draw caricatures for those willing to pose. The festival also will have craft booths, a classic and antique car display, a hit-and-miss antique engine display and lots of friends to see and meet. Come celebrate fall in Pine.
This is also the last weekend the Strawberry Schoolhouse will be open to the public. Ending the season in a dramatic way, the Arizona Rough Riders' Alpha Troop will stage an encampment on the grounds from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The Rough Riders, the first U.S. volunteer cavalry, served in the Spanish American War in the late 1890s. Reenactors will be dressed in period clothing and their camp will look much as it would have during wartime in the late 1800s.
The Schoolhouse will close for the winter Sunday. Group tours and school field trips can be arranged by calling 476-4791 or 476-3375.
Many thanks to Melvin and Judy VanVorst for the countless hours they've spent as the docents for the oldest standing schoolhouse in Arizona.
A record number of visitors have signed the school's guest book in the past two years.
Thanks for bringing our history alive and creating new traditions for this generation.
The Pine Museum and Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce office in Pine will try out their new winter hours starting Sunday, Oct. 10. The museum and chamber will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon until 2 p.m. Sundays.