Calendars in the Rim country are packed with all kinds of exciting, entertaining summer events this year. There will be festivals, craft shows, concerts and more.
May 29-30 -- This is a big weekend in Pine and Strawberry. Pine-Strawberry Arts and Crafts' first show of the season is planned, along with the grand opening of Randall Park and the restored "Original Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library." Also scheduled is the Pine-Strawberry Museum's grand opening of the Ed Toliver Photo Exhibit featuring images of the area in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, along with the grand re-opening of the Historic Strawberry Schoolhouse following restoration and preservation work.
May 29-31 -- The sixth annual Mountain High Days craft festival, organized by Dean Schlosser, will be held at the Gila County Courthouse grounds in Payson. The show features at least 50 crafts and art booths with work from all over the state, and beyond. There will be dazzling jewelry, pottery and glasswork, all kinds of candles and much more. There will also be a wide variety of taste treats from food vendors. The show is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Call Schlosser at (928) 472-7044 for more information.
June 5 -- Barrel Racing Clinic at the Payson Event Center, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., (928) 474-5242, extension 358
June 5 -- Face painting at the Strawberry Schoolhouse with Polly Thomas. The event, which is free, starts at 10 a.m.
June 5-6 -- Elks Craft Fair at the Payson Elks Lodge on the corner of Highway 87 and Airport Road, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Call (928) 468-9667 for more information. Here is another opportunity to get a unique gift for someone special or as a treat for yourself. The Elks Lodge's spacious grounds provide plenty of room for a relaxed ramble to inspect all the offerings.
June 11-12 -- Zane Grey Twirlers 24th Payson Square Dance Festival, Tonto Apache Recreation Center. Dancers from all over -- ladies in their fluffy, frilly dresses and the men in their often-matching shirts and string ties -- will be promenading, dosey-doeing, and, yes, twirling, in a big way both days. It will be a sight to see. The pre-registration fee is $18, the day of the event registration is $20. For more information, call (928) 472-8115.
June 11-13 -- 8th annual Strawberry Patchers Quilt Show, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Pine Cultural Hall, Highway 87, Pine. Admission is $1 at the door. For more information, call Joyce Baker, (928) 472-2482.
June 12 -- Payson Masonic Lodge Annual Deep Pit Barbecue, 200 E. Rancho Road, starts at 11 a.m. The price is $6 for adults, $3 for children under 10. Call (928) 468-8010 for more information. The Masons put on one of the Rim's best barbecues, giving residents and visitors alike the perfect way to top off a fun-filled day in the cool pines.
June 12 -- Concert Under the Stars debuts with country music artist Vince Haines. The singer has been on the music scene in Arizona since he was 17. His band, the "All Earl Band" has twice been voted the best country band in the state. It plays for Phoenix radio personalities "Tim and Willie." Bring a lawn chair and pack a picnic basket with favorite foods and snacks, then relax and enjoy this free concert at the Green Valley Park Amphitheater from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
June 12-13 -- 6th annual Living Historians gathering at the Strawberry Schoolhouse, featuring the Spencer and Jackson Traveling Tent Show. Performances by the group at the old school are at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, June 12 and at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 13.
June 12-14 -- 14th annual Strawberry Festival, Strawberry. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call (928) 476-2239 or (928) 476-2729. Vendors should call (928) 474-4515.
June 19 -- Concert Under the Stars with Common Ground Blues band. Playing tunes from the likes of BB King, Jonny Lang and The Allman Brothers, Common Ground Blues offers strong vocals and clean guitars delivered with honesty and passion. Green Valley Park Amphitheater from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
June 26 -- Concert Under the Stars with the big band sounds of the Terry McFee Orchestra. This is a 10-piece swing band that performs a variety of musical selections including: swing, big band music, ballads and boogie woogie dance tunes. Green Valley Park Amphitheater from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
July 3-4 -- Pine-Strawberry Arts and Crafts Guild's show at the Pine Community Center. Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce 4th of July party at Pine Elementary School, Saturday, July 3, starting at 5 p.m., with fireworks after dark, weather permitting.
July 4 -- Family Fun Day and Fireworks (conditions permitting), starts at 3 p.m. at the Green Valley Park Amphitheater. The event features games, including gunnysack races and tug-o-war. Bring a picnic basket and blanket to sit back and enjoy the festivities, which include live entertainment by Young Country, which specializes in country and variety music and is part of the Concert Under the Stars series. The concert will be followed by fireworks. Shuttle service will be provided for "park-and-ride" transportation, as parking space is limited. The Army Band will play during the fireworks display. Call the Payson Parks and Recreation Department, (928) 474-5242, ext. 7, for details.
July 5 -- 108th Army National Band presents a free concert at 6:30 p.m. in the newly air-conditioned Pine-Strawberry Community Center cultural hall.
July 10 -- Concert Under the Stars with Soul Solution, bringing classic rock and the Motown sound to Green Valley Park Amphitheater from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
July 16-17 -- The Payson Masonic Lodge will have a big yard sale to raise funds for its various charities. The sale will be at the lodge, 200 E. Rancho Road. Call (928) 468-8010 for more information.
July 17 -- Concert Under the Stars with T.A.T.E., which features classic rock music. Green Valley Park Amphitheater from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
July 24 -- Concert Under the Stars with jazz artist Peter Storn. The German-born guitarist and composer is well known for his expertise in blending the sounds of jazz, funk, blues, R and B, rock and Latin. Green Valley Park Amphitheater from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
July 31 -- 4-H/PPR Horse Show, Payson Event Center. Call (928) 474-2364 for more information.
Aug. 7 -- The Payson Masonic Lodge hosts a fund-raising event at the Mazatzal Casino from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event will include a dance, a floor show with impersonations of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Marty Robbins and Johnny Cash. There will also be auctions and drawings. For more information call (928) 468-8010.
Aug. 15 -- Bowl for Kids Sake, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Rim Country Lanes, 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Participants bowl for prizes and pledge money for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. To take part and for more information, call (928) 468-8375.
Aug. 18-22 -- 120th World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo, mixer at Chapman Auto Center, Aug. 18; Rodeo Parade, Aug. 21; special events and rodeo competitions throughout the festivities.
Aug. 21 -- The Pine-Strawberry Historical Society presents the play, "Of Legends and Lovers," about the lives of Doc Holliday and Big-Nose Kate, starring Wyatt and Terry Earp. The show will be in the cultural hall of the community center, starting at 6:30 p.m. Ticket sales begin May 29 at the Pine-Strawberry Museum.
Sept. 4-5 -- Final craft show of the Pine-Strawberry Arts and Crafts Guild's 2004 summer season at the Pine Community Center.
Sept. 18-19 -- Rim Area Gardeners Fall Garden Tour, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. For only $5 six gardens of the Rim country can be toured. For more information, call (928) 468-9532. Tickets will be sold at the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, Plant Fair Nursery, ACE Hardware and the Payson Public Library.
Sept. 25-26 -- 38th annual Old Time Fiddlers State Championship and Festival, Payson Event Center. End the summer season in the cool pines, listening to some of the country's most traditional music. Fiddle music played a big part in the lives of Western pioneers and immigrants to this country, so the festival offers an opportunity to hear the sounds of our ancestors, along with great entertainment and family fun. Call (928) 474-4515 for additional information about admission and performance times.