When the community gathers at one of the Memorial Day events in the Rim Country this weekend, or at one of the formal programs on Monday, May 30, to remember those who have died, let us also remember those who have survived and carry the memories of the many armed encounters they experienced and the friends they have lost from those times.
There will be four formal programs in Payson for Memorial Day, according to retired Col. Bill Sahno.
The annual Pioneer Cemetery Tribute begins with a flag-raising ceremony at sunrise Saturday, May 28, after which the cemetery will be opened for visitation.
The Mountain Meadows Tribute will begin at about 10 a.m., Sunday, May 29, sponsored by Messinger Payson Funeral Home with the support of the Payson Patriotic Events Committee, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.
There will be a flag-raising ceremony at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino at 8 a.m., Monday, May 30, with patriotic music and a program to follow.
The main Memorial Day Tribute will take place at the Veterans Memorial at Green Valley Park, starting at approximately 10 a.m., Monday, May 30. Presented by the Payson Patriotic Events Committee, the program will include patriotic music, a presentation of the colors, an address by Mayor Kenny Evans and guest speakers. There will be a tribute by the Payson Military Honor Guard, including a rifle salute and the playing of “Taps” and a bagpipe presentation of “Amazing Grace.”
In addition to the formal ceremonies planned for Memorial Day Weekend, the other events on the calendar include:
• Pine Library Friends book sale, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 28.
• Beaver Valley Day, starting at 8 a.m., Saturday, May 28. The theme is Beaver Valley Day at the Beach. It starts with a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.; continues with Firefighter Water Olympics from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; plus, throughout the day, food, crafts, volleyball; and an outdoor movie at approximately 8 p.m.
• Payson Farmers Market will open its third season at 8 a.m., Saturday, May 28 at Sawmill Crossing, behind Chili’s Grill and Bar and continue until noon.
The market runs May 28 through October and includes most of the same vendors from last year. Wares include pickles, pastries, dog treats, sauces, oils, goat cheese, fruits and vegetables, jams, jellies, honey, artisan breads, gluten free pasta, hummus, granolas and trail mixes, relish, tea, coffee, lotion, chocolate, Gila County beef and salsa.
There will also be prepared tamales and Italian food to eat on site or take away. Additionally local artists will have woodcarvings, glass and clay-based items for sale and live music will be presented every market day.
• A Memorial Day breakfast by the Hellsgate Fire Department Auxiliary Fireflies will be held from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., Saturday, May 28 at Fire Station 22 in Tonto Village. The station is at 151 Mathews Lane; to reach it, travel one mile in on the Control Road off Highway 260.
The menu includes sausage, biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, juice and coffee for $5 for adults and $3 for children 10 and under.
There will also be a bake sale featuring muffins, coffee cakes, cookies and jams and jellies.
• The Payson Masonic Lodge #70 will be holding its annual barbecue from noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 28. The price is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 10 for a plate of deep-pit barbecue, cole slaw, beans, a dessert and a drink. There will also be a horseshoe toss smack down, with registration starting at 9 a.m.
• Payson Area Dutch Oven gathering at Rumsey Park at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 28 at Ramada 3. Bring a Dutch oven and favorite recipe and fixings. Preparation and cooking will start at 1 p.m., with service beginning at 5 p.m.
Enjoy an afternoon of food and fun and share Dutch Oven cuisine. For more information, contact Mac Freezor at (928) 472-2449 or John Swenson at (928) 472-3331.