The Holiday Open House in Pine seemed to be quite successful, as every shop I went to had several folks milling around and taking advantage of the special prices to get some early shopping in. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. A couple of weeks ago it seemed as if winter had hit with a vengeance, but the reprieve has been so nice.
There are several things happening in Pine this weekend beginning with tonight’s concert at the Church on Randall Place. The southern gospel trio, the Johnson Family will perform at 6 p.m. at the church.
Next, a special Fashion Show, Food Fest and Silent Auction will be held at the Senior Dining Room tomorrow, Nov. 14, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Admission is absolutely free and the prices of sale items are quite reasonable. You’ll have a chance to preview some beautiful holiday clothing items that will be for sale after the show as well. All of the funds raised from the event will go to benefit the Pine Senior Center. As many of you know the senior center provides meals for our elderly residents on a year-round basis. So, please come out and support this very important community resource.
Also taking place at the senior center building in the Arts & Crafts Room (the entrance faces the playground at the Community Center) is the Pine-Strawberry Arts & Craft Guild’s annual Christmas Boutique. There will be many beautiful, handcrafted items for sale which would make perfect gifts for the upcoming holidays. Since they open at 10 a.m. on Saturday the 14th, you can stop by before the fashion show/silent auction. But if you don’t get there in time, no worries they’ll be around until 4 p.m. and again on Sunday the 21st from noon until 3 p.m. They will also be there throughout the month of November during the same hours, plus the Friday after Thanksgiving.
The last event taking place this Saturday is the Kiwanis Club-sponsored cleanup and brats barbecue to support the Pine-Strawberry School’s Terrific Kids and Builders Club programs. For those wishing to participate in the cleanup, meet at the school grounds at 8:30 a.m. Afterward, they’ll fire up the grill and begin cooking delicious brats at 11 a.m. Everyone is invited, so come make a day of the many family events taking place in Pine.
It’s almost time for the 10th Annual Tellebration Celebration. This year’s event takes place Saturday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. (or 5 p.m. if you plan to have dinner first) at the Cultural Hall in Pine. Regardless, be sure to come early because this is a very popular event — and for good reason, the storytellers are incredible, funny, and just plain entertaining. My daughters have been asking me for several months when this year’s Tellebration would be held! In addition to a wonderfully entertaining evening, all attendees will be automatically eligible to win a quilt donated by the DPS Quilt Angels who sponsor the Tellebration along with organizer Don Doyle. Another special touch to this year’s celebration is a chance to honor or remember a loved one who has experienced cancer. The Quilt Angels will add the name of your choice to a special commemorative quilt that will be permanently displayed in the Cultural Hall.
At the library
The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library has several events coming up including the next Movie Madness featuring the show “UP,” at 1 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 18. On Saturday, Nov. 21, a presentation by Michael Anderson titled “The Human History of the Grand Canyon” takes place between noon and 2 p.m. There is no admission charge for this informative presentation. Don’t forget, pre-school story time which takes place each Wednesday between 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. The children will be learning all about the pilgrims, the first Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving in modern times.
I’ve always said that no town gets more into the Spirit of Christmas than Pine, and this year the Pine-Strawberry business community has taken the holiday cheer a step further by adding a Festival of Lights complete with a Jingle Bell Parade honoring our veterans, live music, a visit from Santa, refreshments, and of course, the official community tree lighting ceremony. This first Holiday Lighting Festival takes place Saturday, Nov. 28. The parade begins at 6 p.m., followed by the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at 6:30. Come early and take advantage of the wonderful deals offered by our many gift and specialty shops, antique stores and local businesses. There is no admission fee but the organizers encourage anyone who is able to bring a can of food to help out the Pine-Strawberry Food Bank. So come share the joy of the upcoming Christmas season with our communities.
Another must for your holiday calendar is the Nativity Display scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 3 through Saturday, Dec. 5. The displays will be available for viewing between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday. There is simply no better way to experience the true meaning of Christmas than to peruse the variety of nativity sets that many community members temporarily loan to the exhibit. It is a perfect way to usher in the spirit of the Christmas season. Since admission is free, it is a very family friendly tradition you’ll want to begin. If you have nativity sets that you would like to display, call Linda Howard at 476-3001 for details.
If you want to expand your fun in Pine, then be sure to attend the annual Pine-Strawberry School Christmas Tree Auction at 6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4. This spirited event always brings a lot of laughter to attendees and more importantly is a great way to help fund school events. Each year the children in each grade level decorate a tree with whatever theme they choose (and the imaginative displays are well worth the trip). The trees are then auctioned off to the highest bidder. Even if you already have a Christmas tree you can bid on the beautiful quilts that are donated for auction, buy delicious baked goods and homemade Christmas cards, or just come enjoy the fun and bring your children to visit Santa who is scheduled to stop by.
We have many local groups who generously help out those who are in need and one of them is Strawberry’s Elite. Don’t let the name fool you, these people humbly provide resources for those who are experiencing hard times in our community going back to the early 1990s. Each year they supply on-going donations to our local Pine-Strawberry Food Bank and cash for any child in the Pine-Strawberry School who may lack lunch or snack funds. With Christmas right around the corner, they are filling dozens of gift stockings for elderly members of our community who live on limited resources and do not have family nearby to help out. The stockings are filled with goodies and many necessities like warm mittens, socks and scarves. Next week Strawberry’s Elite will provide more than 20 local children with generous gift cards from Walmart that can be used for new clothing, coats or shoes as needed. The children may also use up to 20 percent of their cards to purchase gifts for friends or family members. Can you imagine what a difference this makes in the lives of children who for whatever reason might otherwise go without? Strawberry’s Elite wants to thank everyone who has contributed to their efforts by attending their fund-raisers (such as the recent steak fry).
This year Strawberry’s Elite is also reviving an old tradition by hosting a Residential Christmas Decoration contest. With the economy continuing to lag, many folks may need that extra boost to get into the holiday spirit, and what better way than to light up our whole community with cheerful lights and beautiful holiday displays? If you would like to enter the contest, simply stop by the post office and pick up an entry blank. Judging will take place Dec. 15, so let’s get those decorations and ladders out and light up our community!