Small-town hospitality was at its finest last weekend as the laid-back locals shared their peaceful mountain paradise with masses of city refugees who stampeded into town for the Arts and Crafts Guild Labor Day festival.
The annual event drew large crowds who came for the scenery, art and charm of Strawberry and Pine.
It was bursting with energy as parents let their children run around and be... well, like children. Store owners lent their curbs and shade. The community groups were on hand with raffle tickets for quilts and even an ATV. The community groups in Strawberry and Pine have ongoing fund-raisers and activities for everyone of any age. If you’re looking for something to do, you don’t have to look very far in Strawberry and Pine.
Pine Strawberry Business Community
The PSBC is a dedicated group of local businesses and community-minded volunteers who work tirelessly organizing community events in the spirit of good old-fashioned fun.
The group meets every Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Tymeless Antiques on Hardscrabble Road in Pine.
They encourage local business owners and residents to attend a meeting. If you would like more information, you can visit their Web site at www.psbcaz.com.
On Aug. 29, the PSBC Event Committee presented two Pine youths with an award for winning the August Shop Hop Treasure Hunt.
Meredith Kiekintveld and Cayley Heredia, 5th-grade volleyball stars at Pine Elementary School, received a $25 Visa card.
The girls enlisted Betty Cockrell, Cayley’s grandmother, as chauffeur. She patiently waited while the girls searched every nook and cranny of the bountifully stocked antique and specialty shops to find all of the hidden treasure. Congratulations, Meredith and Cayley.
A reminder there is still time to get in on the fun.
The next Shop Hop is tomorrow. Only four more chances to go this year.
Then, the Apple Festival on Sept. 24 and 25 with fresh-picked apples from right here in Pine and Strawberry.
Pine-Strawberry Arts & Crafts Guild
Attention, all local artists and crafters. The Pine-Strawberry Arts & Crafts Guild is a talented, creative group of individuals who work in a variety of mediums from original paintings, to basket weaving, sewing and many other arts and crafts.
The group’s mission is to promote the appreciation of fine arts by sponsoring three art festivals a year and donating proceeds to help the community.
They also sponsor a Holiday Boutique and have a craft room where members can display and sell their work.
The group meets on the last Friday of the month at 9 a.m. in the Craft Room at the Pine Community Center. If you are interested in arts and crafts, they would love to have you visit or join the group.
Meet members like Debra Price of Strawberry who makes her own beads and creates exquisite pieces of jewelry, or Sue Hinton of Payson who makes wonderful pillows to compliment any country dwelling. It’s a great place to meet other people who share your interests, participate in community events, and provides an outlet to display your work. Please visit the Guild’s Web site at http://pinestrawberryartscrafts.com.
When in Strawberry and Pine, you are sure to see Riff-Raff Club members selling raffle tickets at many events and venues in the area.
Be sure to buy a ticket — or five! Not only do they raffle off incredible items such as a Remington rifle, Winchester 12-gauge shotgun, 347 Magnum, a stay at a cabin and even a Chevy Suburban, but what they do with the proceeds is equally impressive.
The Riff-Raff Club does everything from providing scholarships to local students to helping the library, food bank and local churches with food baskets for distribution to needy families during the holidays. For more information on this fun-loving group who have the biggest hearts around, contact Sheila Deasey at (928) 476-2202.
Senior Center Affairs Foundation (SCAF)
The group operates the Thrift Store, Senior Dining Room, Meals-On-Wheels and provides many services for local seniors and the community.
They prepared Navajo tacos and sold ice cream and soda during the Labor Day festival last weekend. They sponsor a movie afternoon complete with popcorn, candy and drinks and offer other activities for seniors including poker, canasta and bingo. There are numerous volunteer opportunities available.
To volunteer or for further information, contact Rhonda at the Thrift Shop at (928) 476-4633. You can support SCAF by attending the fourth annual Holiday Fashion Show and Bake Sale on Sept. 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Pine Library Friends
The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library serving Strawberry and Pine sponsored the Friends Book Sale last weekend and raffled Pat’s FANtastic Quilt.
Festival attendees, including myself, could not resist purchasing tickets for such a beautiful and colorful quilt. Proceeds will fund programs in the community.
The quilt was generously donated to the library by the family of Mrs. Patricia Sogan who unfortunately passed away before its completion. A group of Library Friends and Strawberry Patchers lovingly completed the quilt in honor of Mrs. Sogan.
This extraordinary quilt was appraised at $1,975. For more information on the Pine Library or becoming a Friend, visit the Web site at www.pinepubliclibrary.com. Their Hands-On Basic Computer Class starts Sept 20.
Be sure to read next week’s column for an update on more of the great Strawberry and Pine restaurants and — a new market comes to Strawberry!
Also, Pine school students pick apples for the town’s Apple Festival, and who exactly are the Strawberry Elite? You don’t want to miss it.
You can email me with your Strawberry and Pine happenings at email@example.com.
The weary weekend warriors packed up their cars and headed north or south on Highway 87 in the direction from where they came.
They knew they were leaving a special place with very special people. After all, Strawberry and Pine are not just locations on the map, they are fun-filled destinations.