Pine and Strawberry have seen many changes over the years. For decades the little communities north of Payson hosted the Northern Gila County Fair, but now that is held here. The community is still the place to go for summer arts and crafts fairs. The Pine Strawberry Arts and Crafts Guild has craft fairs each holiday weekend in the summer: Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.
Each fair draws from 80 to 87 vendors from all over the state and some from out-of-state.
"We only keep money for overhead such as renting the dumpsters, potty and cost of electricity. At the end of the year, we donate the dollars made from vendors renting space to other organizations in the community," said Betty Rabinkoff, president of the guild.
Over the years the guild has contributed to:
- The Pine Strawberry Fire Department;
- The Tonto Rim Search and Rescue Squad;
- The Pine Strawberry Food Bank;
- The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library ;
- The Pine-Strawberry Elemen-tary School and others.
The Pine Strawberry Arts and Crafts Fairs always have a festive atmosphere and provide an opportunity for other organizations in the community to make money too. For years, the area Kiwanis Club put on a pancake breakfast in conjunction with the fairs. In more recent times, that event has been taken on by the Pine-Strawberry Firefighters Assoc-iation and the Strawberry Elite group. Other organizations bring in other foods and goodies. One of the most popular treats is the Pine Senior Center's Navajo Tacos.
Vendors have cotton candy, slushies, lemonade and more. The main focus is arts and crafts though, from simple beaded jewelry to intricate pieces of fine art.
Some of the artists return time and again, but there will always be something new to see as well.
Pine-Strawberry Arts and Crafts Guild
The Pine-Strawberry Arts and Crafts Guild meets at 9 a.m. the last Friday of every month at the Senior Center located in the Pine Community Center at Highway 87 and Randall Drive in Pine.
For more information, call Gail Jones at 476-4480 or President Betty Rabinkoff, (928) 476-4428.