6,000 People Attended Strawberry Festival

PINE-STRAWBERRY

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The Strawberry Festival is over again for another year. About 6,000 people visited Hunt's Meadow and enjoyed the wide range of activities, games and special events.

There was dust. Until we get some rain, there will be dust. Many people worked tirelessly in order to make this event a success. One of the benefits of the Strawberry Festival is to bring people up here. Local businesses benefited from the throngs of people passing through our communities. Hopefully these visitors liked it well enough that they will want to come back.

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The brush pick-up truck was filled to overflowing, due to the efforts of our neighborhood. The great crew comes through every three weeks and picks up what is piled on the side of the road. Be sure to fill out the work sheets, so that funding for this valuable program can continue.

Many thanks to the Pine Strawberry Business Community for its hard work that made this a successful event.

The Quilt Show was also a terrific event, requiring lots of time and effort on the part of the organizers. The Strawberry Patchers, as usual, did a great job.

There have been some concerns expressed by local residents about folks who are having pit fires at this time when it is so horribly dry and the fire danger is extreme. The fire department crew keeps extremely busy, not just with fires, but with all types of emergency calls. Although there may not always be someone at the fire station, they are in constant radio contact.

If you see someone having a fire in his or her yard, call the Gila County Sheriff's Office. Chief Bill Dekker has been assured by Lt. Tim Scott that the sheriff's deputies will cite all persons with an illegal fire. The Gila County Sheriff's Office phone number is (928) 474-2208. If you see a serious fire, call 911. Any outside fires are prohibited, until we get some substantial rain and it is the Sheriff's Office that is able to enforce this ordinance. Chief Dekker thanks you for your cooperation.

The brush pickup crew was in our neighborhood this week and we were ready. That big trailer was filled to overflowing with brush and pine needles. We still have a lot of do, but it was great to see the whole neighborhood working to make our properties much safer. Hopefully when they come back through here in three weeks, we will have a lot more brush stacked beside the road for them.

The Old Time Fiddlers will perform at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, in the Cultural Hall at the Pine Community Center. The building is air conditioned. What a great way to spend a hot summer afternoon.

The Justice McNeeley Foundation is holding its fourth annual Motor Cycle Run Benefit on Saturday, June 23. Check-in is at 9 a.m. at Sidewinders in Pine. The run begins at 10 a.m. The cost is $15 per person for one hand. Two people on one bike are $25 for two hands. Prizes for best, 2nd best and worst hands. Stops are in Camp Verde, Rim Rock, Cottonwood, Strawberry and Sidewinders. There will be a live band at Sidewinders from 3 to 7 p.m., as well as a silent auction, raffles and good food, all for a great cause. The Justice McNeeley Foundation helps many children with medical bills and expenses throughout the year. This annual fund-raiser goes a long way to ensure that funds are available when they are needed.

Pine Library Friends will meet at noon Monday, June 25, at the Library Activity Building for its annual summer potluck. Please bring a dish to share and your own table service. There is a sign-up sheet in the library in order that there will be a nice selection and variety of food. Everyone is to bring a childhood photo, not a baby picture, concealed in an envelope, in order to play the game that Bev James has organized. Plan to attend and bring a guest.

There is an opening on the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library Board of Trustees. If you have some interest in this and want more information, stop by and talk with Becky Waer.

This year, the Fourth of July falls on Wednesday. The festivities and celebrations are all scheduled for the weekend before. The following events will be going on in Pine/Strawberry.

The Pine-Strawberry Arts and Craft Fair will be Saturday, June 30, and Sunday, July 1. The Pine Strawberry Fire Department along with Strawberry's Elite will have the usual great pancake breakfast each morning before the craft fair.

Pine Library Friends is having a book sale on that weekend, June 30 and July 1, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be an extra large selection of large print books.

Sign the kids up now for the wonderful Summer Reading Program at the Pine Library during July. "Get A Clue" is a great theme with fun opportunities.

The bugs are awful and everything is bone dry. Do be extremely careful, so that we can all enjoy a safe summer. Watching the news reports of the catastrophic fire five years ago, we are reminded of the very real danger we live with by living in this wonderful woodland. Let's all be extra careful.

-- Provide information for this column regarding upcoming events, activities and items of interest for residents and visitors of Pine and Strawberry. Call or fax (928) 476-2239 or e-mail cpwrather@earthlink.net.

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