Payson Remembers

Honoring our veterans -- past, present and future

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This weekend there will be numerous events paying tribute to veterans in Memorial Day services.

Memorial Day Tributes

Sunday, May 25

9 a.m., Payson Pioneer Cemetery, at the corner of North Vista Road and Mesa. This tribute is sponsored by Pat Cline and the Pioneer Cemetery Board and supported by the Payson Patriotic Events Committee, the VFW and the American Legion.

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The young men and women of the Civil Air Patrol cadets will take part in Memorial Day services at both the Payson Pioneer Cemetery and Mountain Meadows Memorial Park.

10 a.m., Mountain Meadows Memorial Park in Round Valley area, follow signs. This tribute is sponsored by the Messengers Funeral Home and supported by the Payson Patriotic Events Committee, the VFW and the American Legion.

Monday, May 26

8 a.m., Mazatzal Hotel & Casino flag-raising ceremony: interlude of patriotic music, opening remarks, invocation by Father Lowell Andrews, national anthem and flag raising by Civil Air Patrol cadets, speakers including a representative from Tonto Apache Tribal Council, the mayor of Payson, guest speakers, benediction by Father Lowell Andrews, "Amazing Grace" on bagpipes played by Eric Landau, "Taps," closing remarks.

10 a.m., Green Valley Park Veterans Memorial: interlude of patriotic music, opening remarks, invocation by Father Lowell Andrews, national anthem and flag raising by Civil Air Patrol cadets, speakers to include the mayor of Payson and other guests, medley of service hymns, honor guard tribute, rifle salute, "Taps," benediction by Father Lowell Andrews, "Amazing Grace" on bagpipes played by Eric Landau, broadcast of "God Bless the USA" recording by Lee Greenwood.

10 a.m., Messinger Payson Funeral Home and Mountain Meadows Memorial Park invites the public to the seventh annual Memorial Day program, to be held at Mountain Meadows Memorial Park located on Upper Round Valley Road, just south of Payson. The program is at 10 a.m., Sunday, May 25 and commemorates the lives of loved ones who have passed away. The VFW and the American Legion will place a flag at the head of every veteran's grave.

The program will begin with a flag raising by the Payson Military Guard and bugler Don Harris, followed by a prayer by Pastor Lynn Richie. Remarks by Mayor Kenny Evans followed by the featured speaker, Major Phillip Prince. There will also be a special tribute to remember those who have served in the armed forces. At the conclusion of the program, refreshments will be served.

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Eric Landau will present "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes at the area's different Memorial Day services.

There will be a wide variety of entertainment activities offered over the Memorial Day Weekend in the Rim Country in addition to the solemn tributes to veterans.

Friday night jazz

The Payson Jazz Trio, featuring local players Bob Smolenski on piano, Jason Larson on bass, and Gerry Reynolds on drums, with other guests are performing from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday nights at the Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St. Smolenski, Howard Brown and Reynolds, with other guests, continue every Saturday at the Strawberry Lodge from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Special performance

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Representatives from branches of the U.S. military (at right) will also be participating in the services.

There will be a special jazz performance at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 25 at the Community Presbyterian Church in Payson.

International jazz guitar great, Jack Wilkins, will be featured in concert with Valley jazz stars Jack Radavich on bass, Armand Boatman on piano and Dom Moio on drums.

Wilkins has been a part of the international jazz scene for more than four decades. His flawless technique and imaginative chordal approach have inspired collaborations with Chet Baker, Sarah Vaughan, Bob Brookmeyer, Buddy Rich and many others. His mentors include Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Bill Evans, Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard and Johnny Smith.

Ladybugs selling eats, treats

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The usually quiet Veterans Memorial at Green Valley Park will be the primary site for the Payson Patriotic Committee's Memorial Day service. There will be several speakers and flag presentations, plus music.

The Payson Pink Ladybugs will host a brat, hot dog and bake sale from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, May 23 and Saturday, May 24 at Wal-Mart. Also on May 24, the group will have a "Soak the Cashier" contest, selling three water balloons for $1.

Join the Ladybugs for delicious baked goods, including homemade cream puffs and more, plus lots of Breast Cancer Awareness items.

All proceeds will benefit the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure. This is a three-day, 60-mile walk held Nov. 14, 15 and 16. A 50/50 drawing will be held along with "Soak the Cashier."

Breakfasts and crafts

The Pine-Strawberry Firefighters Association and the Strawberry Elites will present an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., Saturday, May 24 and Sunday, May 25 at the Pine Community Center. The menu includes pancakes, sausage, coffee and juice for only $5.

The breakfast is being held in conjunction with the Memorial Weekend craft fair in Pine.

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The representatives of the U.S. military participating in the Memorial Day services are mostly retired residents of the Rim Country.

The Pine-Strawberry Arts and Crafts Fair Memorial Day Weekend is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 24 and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, May 25 at the Pine Community Center. More than 80 booths are expected, along with food vendors.

The Hellsgate Fire Department and the Tonto Village Fireflies will have a breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., Saturday, May 24 at the Tonto Village Chapel, off Highway 260 about 3/4 mile past milepost 266 to Tonto Village turn off, go a mile on the Control Road to the little blue chapel on the right.

The breakfast will feature sausage, biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, juice and coffee at a cost of $5 for adults and $2 for those ages 6 and under. There will also be chorizo burros for sale for $2 each.

There will also be a craft fair in the Gila County Complex parking lot at the northwest corner of Main and Beeline Saturday, May 24 and Sunday, May 25.

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