Summer Activities For All Ages Abound

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The words "There's nothing to do" should not be uttered by a single soul in the Rim Country this summer. There is plenty to do with programs planned by the Payson Parks and Recreation Department and area libraries, plus the vacation Bible schools churches are getting ready to present and the assorted concerts and other performances other groups are scheduling throughout the summer.

There are special events as well.

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Tennis is a sport for all ages. Lessons at the Rumsey Park courts, through the Payson Parks and Recreation program can help youngsters start enjoying this lifetime sport now.

Next weekend is packed with them. The touring exhibit of the Vietnam War Memorial -- The Wall -- will be at Green Valley Park June 6, 7 and 8. The Merchants Guild and Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation host the First Friday Art & Antiques Walk on Old Main from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, June 6. The annual Relay for Life will be held at Payson High School from 6 p.m., Friday, June 6 through 6 a.m., Saturday, June 7 to raise funds for cancer research. The Rim Area Gardeners will host the Garden Tour 2008 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 7. The tour features six gardens in Payson and Pine. The annual Strawberry Patchers' Quilt Show and Strawberry Festival is taking place at the Pine Community Center. There will also be a Law Enforcement Rodeo starting at 9 a.m., Saturday, June 7 and Sunday, June 8 at the Payson Event Center. The rodeo features everything but rough stock. The riders are all law enforcement officers, firefighters, Game and Fish employees, etc. There is no gate fee.

The parks department summer sports programs include:

Tennis lessons at the Rumsey Park tennis courts, started June 2 for third-grade youngsters through high school seniors. The cost is $25. Registration is still open.

British Soccer Camp, at South Rumsey soccer field, June 9 through June 13 for ages 3 through 18. The cost is from $70 to $165. Registration is still open.

Junior Horns Basketball Camp, at the high school dome, June 16 through June 20 for youngsters in the third through eighth grades. The cost is $40. Registration is still open.

Payson Football Camp, at the high school football field, June 26 through June 28, for youth in the third through eighth grades. The cost is $40. Registration is still open.

Adult Wood Bat Slow-Pitch Softball League starts June 11 at Rumsey Park from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Wednesdays. The cost is $250 per team.

Adult Co-ed Sand Volleyball League will start June 16 at Rumsey Park. Games are from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays. The cost is $80 per team, and members must be 16 to participate.

Adult 2008 Summer Softball will be held at 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, starting June 23. The cost is $275 per team. Participants must be 16.

Softball tournaments planned for the summer include: Men's and Co-ed, June 28 and 29, Men's, Women's and Co-ed, July 19 and 20, and Men's and Co-ed, Sept. 13 and 14.

The 5th Annual Home Run Derby is at 6 p.m., Friday, July 18 at Rumsey Park, registration is from June 2 through July 18. Participants must be 21 and the cost is $45 per team.

The parks department will present the Payson Sprint Triathlon Saturday, June 14. The annual Monsoon Run 5K is set for Saturday, Aug. 9. A "Dri-Tri" is planned for Saturday, Sept. 6, with a hiking component replacing the traditional triathlon swimming element.

Hiking is part of the parks department summer program too. Presented by the Payson Area Trails System, there will be four scheduled group hikes: Peach Loop (moderate to strenuous), 8:30 a.m., Saturday, May 31, meet at parks office; Monument Peak Loop Trail (easy), 8:30 a.m., Saturday, June 21, meet at trailhead, 3.3 miles east of Highway 260 on Granite Dells Road; American Gulch South Trail (moderate), 8:30 a.m., July 19, meet at trailhead, 3.6 miles west on Main Street; Round Valley Trail, from Phoenix Street, 8:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 23.

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Soccer is another sport that can be enjoyed by all ages. The British Soccer Camp planned this summer is open to youngsters from ages 3 to 18.

The swimming programs at Taylor Pool started May 24, with summer hours ending July 29. There is open swim from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., daily. Shallow water aerobics are held at 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Lessons will be held in two-week sessions: June 2 through June 12; June 16 through June 26; June 30 through July 11; and July 14 through July 25. Different levels of lessons are offered, including a parent and tot program, an introduction to water skills class, fundamental aquatic skills for those ages 3 through 5 and another for those 7 and older, stroke development, stroke improvement, beginning diving and introduction to lifeguarding. There are only a half-dozen open slots for upper level lessons in the first session of swim lessons, said coordinator Deb Rose. Registration for the second session of lessons starts June 2.

Admission to the pool is $2 per visit, with 10-entry passes for $15. A family discount entry fee of $5 per family will be offered from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.

The fee for water aerobics is $60 for the season, or $2 per drop-in visit. Swimming lessons are $25 per session, with $15 charged for the evening program.

The parks department also has a variety of activities slated for the Payson Event Center. Regular equestrian events include the 7D Barrel Race and Pole Bending Series, held Wednesday nights through July, books open at 5:30 p.m., with competition starting at 6:30 p.m., the cost is $5; Thursday Night Ropings, 6 p.m. through September; Team Sorting, Friday, May 30, June 20, July 24, Aug. 22 and Sept. 19, books open at 5:30 p.m., with competition at 6:30 p.m.; Turn 'n' Burn Barrel and Pole Bending Series, Wednesday nights in August and September, books open at 5:30 p.m., contest starts at 6:30 p.m.

There will be a summer recreation program for children entering the first through sixth grades. There are two different sessions planned, one from June 2 through June 19 and another from June 30 through July 17. Both sessions will be divided into programs for youngsters in grades 1 through 3 and grades 4 through 6. Space is limited and the cost is $40 per child, pre-registration is required. The sessions meet from 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Thursday.

The Payson Public Library is also providing activities for children this summer with its "Catch the Reading Bug" program.

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Introducing children to the wonders of the library and reading are at the foundation of the summer reading programs at both the Payson and Pine libraries. Both libraries are offering individual programs for different age groups through July. In addition to encouraging reading, the programs provide hands-on activities and other special events.

The summer reading program is from June 3 through June 25. Registration is from May 19 through June 7.

The program is designed to promote reading and learning in a fun way and to help maintain skills during the summer recess. Due to space limitations, registration is required a week prior to the program.

Children, ages 3 to 12, will have a choice of classes: 1 p.m. Tuesday; 10 a.m., Wednesday; 1 p.m., Wednesday. The program will include singing, stories and puppets.

The class for those ages 8 to 18 will be at 4 p.m., Tuesday, it is called "Metamorphosis."

This program is free of charge.

For more information about Payson Library programs, call (928) 474-9260.

The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library in Pine is also offering the "Catch the Reading Bug" summer program. It will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Friday, June 20; Friday, June 27; Friday, July 11; and Friday, July 18.

"Movie Madness" will also be offered at the Pine Library at 11 a.m. every Thursday.

Drama workshopsill be held in the Pine Library activity room from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday for students in grades six through eight, and from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday for students in kindergarten through the fifth grade
Pine Libraryill offer Wii gaming from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Pine Library will have a violin instruction program for ages 5 to 7, including the violins. Call the library at (928) 476-3678 for details.

There will be story time for children ages 2 to 5 at 10:15 a.m. every Wednesday.

The Concert Under the Stars series returns to Green Valley Park starting Saturday, June 14. The Payson Parks and Recreation Department is once again presenting free concerts through the end of July in the amphitheater area of the park. The performances will be at 7 p.m. and include: Sonoran Swing, a 20-piece swing band, Saturday, June 14; Junction 87, classic country, Saturday, June 21; Big Daddy D & the Dynamites, blues, soul and Cajun, Saturday, June 28; John Carpino & the Hot Cappuccinos, hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s, Friday, July 4; Gypsy Juke Rockers, rock, blues and R&B, Saturday, July 12; Cold Shott & The Hurricane Horns, funk and jazz, Saturday, July 19; and Brandon Shepard, country, Saturday, July 26.

Other special events planned for the summer:

July 4th fireworks and Family Fun Day, 3 p.m., Friday, July 4, Green Valley Park

Dutch Oven Cooking Class, July 12, Rumsey Park

Advanced Fly-tying, July 12, parks office, Green Valley Park

Fly Fishing 101, Aug. 2, parks office, Green Valley Park

Gracie Haught Memorial Barrel Race and Team Roping, Aug. 8 through Aug. 10, Payson Event Center

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Barrel racing and pole bending are the primary equestrian activities set at the Payson Event Center for the summer through the parks department.

Kansas City Barbecue Society Cook-off, Aug. 8-9, Mazatzal Casino parking lot

World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo, Aug. 15 through Aug. 17, Payson Event Center, with a parade Saturday, Aug. 16

GPS 101, Aug. 16, Boulders Loop Trailhead

Northern Gila County Fair and Demolition Derby, Sept. 5 through Sept. 7, Payson Event Center and Tonto Apache Tribal Recreation Center.

For more information about parks and recreation programs, call (928) 474-5242, extension 7 or go online to www.paysonparks.com

Additional information about some of the events is also available at the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, (928) 474-4515 and in the Payson Roundup Summer Visitors Guide, which can be found around town and at the Roundup office, 708 N. Beeline Highway, and online at payson.com.

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