Summer Winding Down, But Still Plenty To Do

A nest of baby barn swallows watches some of the proceedings at the Pine Arts and Crafts Festival, Saturday, Sept. 3 from under the eaves of the Community Center.

Photo by Andy Towle. |

A nest of baby barn swallows watches some of the proceedings at the Pine Arts and Crafts Festival, Saturday, Sept. 3 from under the eaves of the Community Center.


Labor Day is behind us and the summer season is winding down.

It’s a cycle that repeats itself here as people come to experience a small slice of what America used to be nestled in the mountains. Here, people are willing to work to keep it that way and kind enough to share it with those who take over the summer weekends. Still, there is plenty to do in Strawberry and Pine.

Thrift store fashion show

Tomorrow, Sept. 17, meet your friends at the Pine mall. You didn’t know Pine has a mall? Where do area residents go to find all their household needs?

The Pine Strawberry Community Center Thrift Store has it all. Clothing, home décor, books, toys, crafts, furniture, hardware and more. The Thrift Store manager, Rhonda, advised me that “The Pine-Strawberry Community Center Thrift Store has been officially incorporated as The Mall.”

Though billed as the third annual fashion show, Rhonda said she attended a fashion show here 10 years ago.

No matter how long it has been, the fashion show is sure to be fun as residents model the fashions suitable for any special occasion from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

There will also be a bake sale and silent auction. When I heard this is a purse auction I replied, “I’ll buy them all!” Proceeds will fund valuable programs for seniors.

Shop Hop

While in Pine for the fashion show, why not visit the many antique and specialty shops for the September Shop Hop and Treasure Hunt also taking place tomorrow.

The second Saturday of the month, from April through December, the participating merchants offer in-store specials and discounts for customers on Shop Hop Saturday. You can also pick up a list of treasure by shop and win a great prize for finding it all.

Pine Library

Sept. 20 and 27 is the first free Hands-On Basic Computer and Internet class sponsored by the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library.

Other classes are scheduled for Sept. 22 and 30, Oct. 4 and 11, and Oct. 7 and 14. Classes will be held in the Library Activity Room.

For information, call them at (928) 476-3678 or see their website at www.pinepublic Donations are appreciated.

Strawberry’s Elite

This incredible group of volunteers known as Strawberry’s Elite have sponsored fund-raisers including Luau, Mardi Gras, Steak Fry and Pancake Breakfasts to provide vital resources for needy children.

Their annual Steak Fry, complete with music and raffles, raise funds to help local families with things such as gift certificates and help on utility bills.

As reported in the Roundup, unemployment rates in Gila County are “typically about two percentage points below the statewide average,” which was at 10.6 percent in July.

Many in Pine and Strawberry are unemployed, and Pine Food Bank recipients have doubled in the past year. You can lend a helping hand to area children by supporting Strawberry’s Elite.

Apples are abundant this year

The apple trees in the woods are loaded this year, which means we’ll be seeing more whitetailed deer in our front yards. The whitetails positively love apples!

You will too at the town’s Apple Festival on Sept. 24 and 25. The abundance of apples means many of the treats at the festival will be fresh from local trees.

Community volunteers are needed to bake apple treats for this year’s festival. If you can help, please contact Marie at (928) 951-1641 or email her at lockandberry

In October, there will be a contest for local students and families to see who can collect the most apples from trees in the area. The apples you pick will go to help needy families.

New market in town

Strawberry residents won’t have to drive very far now if they need a couple more eggs to complete a recipe or a quick gallon of milk because someone put the empty carton back in the fridge.

The family-owned newly opened Strawberry Market on Highway 87 near Fossil Springs Road is a welcomed addition to the area. The shelves and dairy cases are amply filled with a surprisingly wide variety of groceries and household items.

People travel far to visit the Arizona Rim and enjoy the unique shops, restaurants, and businesses that Strawberry and Pine have to offer. Don’t forget to shop local and support these wonderful businesses in our own back yard.

Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction

Speaking of our back yards, important information for residents: brush pick-up service has been discontinued.

It is a grant-funded program and these grants do run out. The non-profit Fuel Reduction group is working with the Fire Department on ways to continue the service.

Please take time to respond to an important survey on the Pine Strawberry Arizona News Web site at

Click on the survey link. Your input is very important.

Attention quilters

Rim Country Quilt Roundup coming in November. Registration is now available online at

Next week

The inside scoop on who’s getting trashed in Pine. You don’t want to miss it!


As promised, more on the great local restaurants. In Pine, take a trip down Memory Lane at JD’s Place, family owned property for 5 generations serving generous portions for hungry locals and travelers.

A local favorite, The Early Bird offers a wide variety of great food at great prices.

In addition to great sandwiches, the Pine Deli conveniently offers daily dinner specials and catering. Further up the trail on Highway 87 in Strawberry you’ll discover an Arizona landmark, the Strawberry Lodge, famous for great atmosphere, food and accommodations.

Nearby at the Sportsman’s Chalet you’re guaranteed a smile, drink and a delicious burger. If you fancy Italian, then Mama Joe’s Grill is the place. The Eggplant Parmesan is worth the drive.

With so many quaint restaurants in the area, you’ll want to stay for a week to try them all, or keep coming back until you do. One thing for sure, in Strawberry and Pine there is no shortage of good times, good food and good people.


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