Each year, the Memorial Day weekend gets the summer in Rim Country off to a roaring start with a jam-packed calendar of activities. This year is no different. Take time to remember the real reason for the holiday at any or all of four services this year.
There is an opportunity to enjoy a couple of different community breakfasts in the sweet mountain morning air in Tonto Village or Pine, and then attend one or both big arts and crafts events taking place in Payson and Pine.
Memorial Day services
The 2010 Memorial Day services in Payson will be held at four sites on three different days this year.
The services are to remember those who have died in the nation’s service and to honor those who have defended and continue to defend the country.
The Pioneer Cemetery Tribute is at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 29 at the Payson Pioneer Cemetery on Vista Road and Mesa Drive. The event is presented by the Payson Woman’s Club.
The service will include music by members of area pioneer families, plus programs by Don Gibson and Jinx Pyle. The names of the 205 veterans buried in the Payson Pioneer Cemetery will be read aloud. Following the service, Pyle will lead a tour through the historic cemetery and share stories about some of the people buried there.
The Mountain Meadows Tribute is at 10 a.m., Sunday, May 30 at Mountain Meadows Memorial Park in Round Valley. This program is sponsored by Messinger Payson Funeral Home and supported by the Payson Patriotic Events Committee, the local posts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion.
The program will include a flagpole dedication and flag raising, a presentation by the Payson Military Honor Guard and special remarks by Jim Muhr. The close will be a rendition of Taps.
The Memorial Day Flag Raising Ceremony at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino is at 8 a.m., Monday, May 31 and will include a program and selection of patriotic music.
The Memorial Day Tribute at Payson’s Green Valley Park is at 10 a.m., Monday, May 31 at the Veterans’ Memorial.
The Payson Patriotic Events Committee presents this program. It will include patriotic music, presentation of the colors, an address by Mayor Kenny Evans of Payson, and guest speakers. There will also be a tribute by the Payson Military Honor Guard, including a rifle salute and Taps, plus a bagpipe rendition of Amazing Grace.
Have breakfast in Tonto Village; barbecue with the Masons
The Hellsgate Fire Department Auxiliary, the Fireflies, will present a fun way to start the Memorial Day weekend. The group is having a fund-raising breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 29 at Fire Station #22 in Tonto Village, 151 Mathews Lane — go in one mile on Control Road off Highway 260. The menu includes sausage, biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, juice and coffee. The cost is $5 per plate for adults and $3 per plate for children 10 and under. For those who want a lighter breakfast, a chorizo burro can be purchased for $2. The day’s events will include a rummage sale.
Payson Masonic Lodge #70 will have its Annual Deep Pit Barbecue from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 29.
The featured tenderized beef, seasoned with the Masons’ secret recipe, is slowly cooked over oak wood coal for 24 hours and then served with cowboy beans and cole slaw. There will be different desserts to choose from to go with your meal, along with a beverage. The cost is $10 per plate for adults, and $5 for children 12 and under.
A lively game of championship horseshoes will take place during the festivities as well.
The Masonic Lodge is at 200 E. Rancho Road, Payson, behind the fire station.
Pine-Strawberry Arts & Crafts Festival
Head up the Beeline to the Pine Community Center to help celebrate 30 years of arts and crafts festivals in the Rim Country.
The Pine-Strawberry Arts & Crafts Guild will open its summer season with a Memorial Weekend festival from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 29 and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, May 30.
There will 75 craft booths, featuring stained glass, jewelry, wood items, pottery, hand-woven baskets, hand-knitted and crocheted baby items, art work, greeting cards, copper items and much more.
You won’t go hungry. The Pine Strawberry Fire Department will be serving an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, sausages, orange juice and coffee; the Senior Center will be selling Navajo tacos; and there will be lots of other food vendors.
The Pine-Strawberry and DPS Quilters will be selling raffle tickets for three quilts.
The Pine Community Center is in the heart of Pine, across from the Post Office and Highway 87.
Mountain High Days
The 12th annual Memorial Day Weekend three-day Mountain High Days Art & Crafts Bazaar is Saturday, Sunday and Monday, May 29, 30 and 31 on the Gila County Courthouse grounds at the corner of the Beeline and W. Frontier St., Payson (across from the post office).
Crafters, artists and other vendors from throughout Arizona and the Southwest will participate in the event.
Classic Celebrations sponsors the bazaar; it is the fund-raising division of Greater Grace Fellowship International Ministries of Yuma, which has works in India, the Philippines and Yuma.