Today, Friday, is the first day of the 320-mile Challenge endurance ride. More than 100 bicyclists will be peddling their way up Highway 87 from Scottsdale through Pine and into Strawberry this afternoon where they will spend the night. They will leave early Saturday morning and ride to Prescott and then head for home on Sunday. These are a great group of people and we welcome them to Strawberry.
Needless to say, they turn in early. Can you even imagine riding 97 miles uphill? I get tired driving my car from the Valley.
Now that the official dedication of the newly improved Fossil Creek Road has taken place, do remember that the speed limit is still 25 mph. It will be monitored so watch your speedometer. Also, we are trying to get some help slowing down the cars and trucks that speed down the hill on Highway 87 into Strawberry. We need to set a good example to all the summer visitors and those just passing through. The limit is 25 mph on Fossil Creek Road and 35 mph on Highway 87 through Strawberry and Pine.
As of Saturday, May 15, summer hours begin at the Pine Strawberry Museum in Pine. The museum building also is the Chamber of Commerce tourist information center with maps, brochures and a volunteer on hand to answer all your questions. The summer hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The newly restored Strawberry School House officially opens for the season beginning Saturday, May 15. Weekend hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and noon to 4 p.m., Sunday. Special tours can be arranged in advance by calling (928) 476-3547. Stop by the schoolhouse to see all the preservation and restoration work that has been done. You will notice a difference.
The Strawberry School House, on the historic register, was built in 1885 and is now owned by the Arizona Historical Society. More than 5,000 visitors tour the structure each year. The condition of the building was deteriorating. Melvin VanVorst and board members of the Pine Strawberry Historical Society were determined in their search for funds for badly needed estoration. The majority of the money for the restoration came from Gila County.
The Strawberry's Elite is having its luau from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sunday May 16 at the Black Bear Restaurant in Strawberry. There will be roast pig with all the trimmings, live music and fun. This is one of four major fund-raisers for this organization which provides funds for children and families in Pine and Strawberry. It is a fun event. Bring the family. Tickets will be available at the door.
The Strawberry Festival poster contest deadline is May 17. The festival is June 12 and 13. Lots of volunteers are needed in many different areas. Come join the fun. Call (928) 476-2239 or (928) 476-2729 for more information.
To provide information for this column regarding upcoming events, activities and items of interest for residents and visitors, call or fax (928) 476-2239 or e-mail email@example.com.