Festival Of Lights, Salsa Challenge Tomorrow

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photo courtesy of Jodee Smith

Gloria Fohr and Willene Smith of the DPS Quilt Angels Chapter of the Arizona Quilters Guild greet folks at the 11th Annual Tellabration in Pine.

Well you know the saying, there’s no place like home! My daughter and I enjoyed our time in Chicago, and although she didn’t place in the semi-finals of the Bible Bee, she did a great job, learned a lot and looks forward to trying again next year.

The weather in Chicago was actually pleasant, we survived the airport with no delays or major dilemmas, and enjoyed the architecture and some of the amenities of the big city, but all in all it was great to settle back into our Pine routine.

The 11th Annual Tellabration was simply wonderful. It seems the crowd grows each year and for good reason. My family especially enjoyed one of the new tellers — his story of playing the game “Avalanche” with bales of hay had us buckled over in laughter. Many tellers had endearing tales of family, and I’ll never travel near Globe and Superior again without thinking of some of the local place names and memories that one teller shared. The DPS Quilt Angels did a great job of organizing the event once again, we are fortunate to have this top quality entertainment right here in Pine.

I hope you all enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. Pine had many visitors up for the entire week enjoying the quiet beauty and small-town atmosphere. I hope everyone is ready for winter because it appears to have arrived!

Tomorrow, our community would like to invite all of our neighbors to come celebrate the second annual Festival of Lights event, at the Community Center in the heart of Pine. The fun begins with a fiery Salsa Challenge at 1 p.m. Enjoy a variety of professional and amateur versions of all types of this universal favorite.

Then spend the afternoon shopping Pine’s exceptional gift, art and antique shops before the Jingle Bell Parade at 5 p.m., followed by the lighting of the tree which will take place at 6. There are numerous restaurants in Pine and Strawberry if you desire a delicious afternoon pick-me-up before the evening festivities. The craft fair will host several vendors in the Cultural Hall between noon and 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday. Also the Pine-Strawberry Craft Guild will open the doors to their Christmas Boutique throughout the event for both days and each weekend up until Dec. 19. The Christmas Boutique is held in the craft room adjacent to the playground behind the Senior Thrift Shop. The quality of items featured and prices make the boutique a local favorite.

Trouble in Paradise will provide entertainment along with an opportunity to carol. Of course the evening would not be complete without a visit from Santa, so the organizers have assured me that he will be dropping by to top off the evening. Refreshments will be served in the senior dining hall after the tree lighting ceremony, to round off a perfect day in Pine. There is no charge to attend any of the featured events, so be sure to take this wonderful opportunity to usher in the Christmas spirit.

On Sunday, Nov. 28, beginning at 10 a.m., come enjoy storytellers and the final day of the craft show in the Cultural Hall. What a great opportunity to get a start on your Christmas shopping with all the beautiful, handcrafted gifts at the show and in the P-S Craft Guild’s Christmas Boutique. Many Pine shops will open their doors to welcome you as well.

The Festival of Lights is the kick-off for a great month of special events in Pine, like the Nativity Display featured in the Cultural Hall between Dec. 2 and Dec. 4. If you’ve never been to this heartwarming display I encourage you to make a point of visiting this year. The Cultural Hall is filled with beautiful Nativity displays of all types and sizes.

I regret that the wonderful woman who envisioned this incredible display, and was instrumental in making it happen, Linda Howard, passed away this past year. Her good friend, Barb Davis has rallied those of us who feel that the display must continue as a tribute to Linda’s love for the true meaning of Christmas, and we invite you to join us as well. If you would like to help out in any way, or have Nativity sets that you would like to display, please feel free to call Barb at 476-4317. Set up begins at 8 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 1. Displays can be brought to the Cultural Hall beginning at 10 a.m. up until 5 p.m. Your Nativity sets will be well cared for and bring such joy to the visitors, plus you will have them back in plenty of time to decorate your own home!

Folks may visit the display Thursday, Dec. 2 from 1 to 5 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 3 from 2 until 8 p.m.; or Saturday, Dec. 4 from 3 until 7 p.m. Cookies and cider are served and there is no charge, making this a family friendly event. So gather the kids, grandparents, friends and family and head to Pine to start a new tradition and experience the wonder of Christmas.

Also taking place on Friday, Dec. 3 is the annual Christmas Tree Auction at the Pine-Strawberry Elementary School gym. Each year the different grade levels decorate a donated live Christmas tree, (usually with a particular theme), then encourages the crowd to participate in a fun, lively auction to raise funds for extracurricular school activities. The kids will also be selling poinsettias and auctioning off a lovely quilt donated by the Strawberry Patchers, so stop by and join the fun. The Christmas Tree Auction begins at 6 p.m. and rumor has it that Santa will stop by to enjoy the hot cocoa and cookies. The entire community is encouraged to attend.

On Tuesday, Dec.7 at 6:30 p.m., you are invited to attend a performance by the Pine-Strawberry School Band. This free concert will be held in the school gym, and again the community is welcome to attend.

The last big event at the Pine-Strawberry Elementary School before the Christmas break begins, is the Christmas program which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 14 in the school gym. Past performances have been quite endearing, so if you are looking for a light-hearted pick-me-up after all that Christmas shopping, the Christmas program is the perfect remedy.

Throughout the month of December, the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library will hold pre-school storytime each Wednesday between 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. Children between the ages of 2-1/2 to 5-1/2 will enjoy a variety of activities including stories, songs, arts, crafts and dancing. December’s activities include snowflake making on Dec. 1, visiting with firefighters from the Pine Fire Department on Dec. 8, decorating ginger bread cookies on Dec. 15, listening to the Polar Express story on Dec. 22, and making a Happy New Year’s hat on Dec. 29.

In addition to the ongoing programs, the library will feature Toy Story 3 at the next Movie Madness event on Wednesday, Dec. 8 (which is an early release day for the school kids). The movie begins at 1 p.m. and participants are encouraged to bring a favorite pillow to relax upon as they enjoy this G-rated Pixar feature.

The library will be hosting two special Family Night activities on Thursday, Dec. 9 and the following week on Dec. 16. Both events take place between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at the library and will include fun holiday craft ideas. All material is supplied by the library, so come out and enjoy a fun time with your kids.

Lastly, the library will be closed on Friday, Dec. 24 and Saturday, Dec. 25 for Christmas, then again the following Friday, Dec. 31 and Saturday, Jan. 1 for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

We sure hope to see you in Pine during this festive season!

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