Pine to celebrate fourth on the first


Pine and Strawberry, which are populated by independent-minded souls, are celebrating America's Independence Day on Saturday, July 1 rather than on July 4.

The all-day event will begin at 7 a.m. in Pine and will continue until well past dark.

Keeping with its tasty tradition, the Rim Country Kiwanis will start the party with a pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Pine Community Center. At about 9 a.m., crafters will open their booths to shoppers and spectators. Food, food and more food will be available from the senior kitchen and other vendors.

Just as the craft fair winds down, the fireworks party will begin. Bring your blanket and lawn chairs for the Rim Country Chamber of Commerce's annual old-fashioned Fourth.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the lower field at Pine-Strawberry Elementary School, there will be games for the young and young at heart. The fun will include, gunny sack races, a watermelon-seed- spitting contest and a pie-throwing contest.

For those more interested in eating their food than throwing it, barbecue, beans, nachos, hot dogs, sodas, ice cream and snow cones will be available.

Arvid Thompson will provide musical entertainment on his fiddle, and glow necklaces will be for sale.

At dark-thirty, the guys who pack the powder will light the fuses to celebrate our nation's independence. For a little mountain town, we sure know how to do the family-fun thing right.

At 7 p.m., the Church on Randall Place will host a Fireworks Social. Folks are invited to gather in the parking lot of the Randall Place to catch a prime view of the colorful explosions.

Blood drive

P-S residents are expected to be out in force during the community blood drive this summer. From 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, July 10 at the Pine Community Center, folks will be rolling up their sleeves to help save lives. Appointments will be given priority, but all donors will be treated to the best home-baked cookies in the Rim country.

Each summer, teams compete to give the most blood. Last year's winner, the P-S Medical Center Auxiliary, will hang onto the roving trophy until July 10. So far, Tonto Rim Search and Rescue and the Pine-Strawberry Fire Department are the only teams that have signed up to battle the auxiliary for the trophy and bragging rights. Show your support, or create a team of your own. For more information, or for an appointment, call 476-3624.

P-S walkathon

Never have five miles seemed like such fun. The third annual P-S Medical Center Walkathon will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 at the medical center on Hardscrabble Road in Pine.

The walkathon raises money each year for the community's medical center.

This year's walkathon motto "Stop Clowning Around and Start Walking" and the walkathon's T-shirt design were developed by 9-year-old Melissa Vaillancourt.

Register early and you can get your own T-shirt with Vaillancourt's award-winning design.

Walkers and runners are welcome and the course is wheelchair accessible.

Early registration forms and sponsorship forms are available at the P-S Library, Strawberry Market, the Strawberry Lodge, the Ponderosa Market, Ponderosa Video and the Medical Center. In Payson, forms are at the Payson Library, the Rim Gym and Eastern Arizona College. T-shirts will go on sale at the Fourth of July weekend craft show for $11 each. All walkathon proceeds will benefit the Pine-Strawberry Medical Center. There are lots of prizes to be won, so stop clowning around and get to it.

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