Have you ever heard anyone say, “There’s nothing to do in a small town”? True there’s no hustle and bustle.
We have no stoplights, follow landmarks and don’t know street names. There’s a grocery store, hardware store, post office, a few restaurants, bars, and shops.
Strawberry and Pine are small towns, but they have numerous amenities nearby like hiking, cycling, off-roading, fishing, hunting and boating. The great outdoors offers limitless opportunities for adventure.
Likewise, the community groups provide many more opportunities to be creative, participate in activities, and help your neighbors.
You can be a Friend of the Library, join the Arts and Crafts Guild or quilters group, volunteer at the Thrift Shop and Senior Center, join Strawberry’s Elite, Riff-Raff Club or other group.
I went behind the scenes early last Saturday and was amazed to see so many fresh baked apple treats by local residents. The Business Community Event Committee members were working efficiently to get everything set up.
I found wood artist CJ McAnulty in the Arts and Crafts Guild Boutique preparing to demonstrate how he creates his very popular and large wooden buttons, that were laid out on one of his beautiful hand-crafted wooden benches.
Children were happily coloring and doing projects at the arts and crafts booth, laying the foundation to becoming America’s future artists and crafters.
The locals cooked up their finest chili for the Chili Cookoff, This year’s first place award winning entry was contributed by Dave Earp. Jan Armbruster also received a cash prize for second place. I missed the opportunity to test the chili but hope to share Dave’s winning recipe next week if he will let me.
8th Annual Oktoberfest
The excitement and good times continue this Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Rimside Grill in Pine with Octoberfest. For the admission price of just $1 experience great music with DJ Johnny Vela and band, hot dog eating contest, stein holding contest, roping contest, volleyball tournament, live auction, authentic German beer and food, and raffles.
The numerous raffle and auction items will amaze you with free storage, drywall repair, stay at a cabin, cool T-shirts, backpacks, jewelry, tools, beer mugs, art and more.
Not only will you have the time of your life and win great prizes, but you will be supporting Pine Strawberry Fuels Reduction non-profit group protecting our community from fire and the building of more hiking and biking trails.
The library is a great resource for residents with books, movies and CDs to loan, computers with Internet access, and helpful, friendly staff. They have excellent programs for adults and children of all ages.
Are the kids excited about the holidays? They will be with Fall Break Movie Madness at the Library Activity Room. On Thursday, Oct. 6, they will love “The Dog Who Saved Halloween” and on Thursday, Oct. 13 the Disney movie “Spooky Buddies.”
Movies begin at 1 p.m., and just like the theater, refreshments are served. Bring yourself, your sibling or friend — and don’t forget your pillow.
The library is also offering a wonderful opportunity to take an oil painting class for the first 12 lucky people who sign up. Cost is just $10 for supplies.
The class will be taught by Wanda Mitchell-Tucker, a friend of Becky Waer, library manager. Wanda teaches classes for Globe residents at Cobre Valley Center for the Arts and at the junior college.
She brings knowledge and fun to the class scheduled for Oct. 28. Must be age 13 or older and register by Oct. 21. To sign up, contact the library at 928-476-3678.
Riff Raff Club
Now is the time to buy tickets for a don’t-want-to-miss Riff-Raff event coming to The Bear restaurant on Oct. 2. You can see Buckshot Dot spin stories with a supporting cast and enjoy music by Trouble in Paradise.
It’s a great way to have fun and help youth in the community as this benefits the Riff-Raff Scholarship Fund. This year’s scholarship winner will be announced at the event.
Come out for this very worthy cause to help well-deserving area students. Get tickets at Hair-Looms Salon in Pine, from Santa at local radio stations, or by calling Karen at 928-476-3658. Tickets are just $15 and only a limited number are available.
Community Center Thrift Store
Are you looking for nice clothes or household items on a tight budget?
Today and tomorrow, Oct. 1, you can fill a bag of clothes for just $1. I know that I can squeeze a lot into a bag! This includes accessories like hats, belts and shoes.
This is also a chance to pick up fabulous outfits from the Sept. 17 fashion show. They are beautiful, name brand items in excellent condition.
Thrift store manager, Rhonda, thanks everyone for making the fashion show fund-raiser and bake sale a success.
Thanks to those who donated items, the hard-working Thrift Store volunteers, and all who attended. “We have such wonderful folks in our communities,” she said.
A reminder that the Thrift Store accepts donations and has pickup service in the area for those who cannot bring their items in.
Donations help fund valuable programs including Meals on Wheels, Books on Wheels, and much more to contribute to the enjoyment and well-being of our citizens, particularly seniors.
The Thrift Store is located at 3916 N. Highway 87 and open Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Take a Hike
I can’t believe this is my fifth column already and there’s nothing I’d rather be doing than telling people about this wonderful community, people and events. To those who maintain “There’s nothing to do in a small town,” my advice to them is to just “take a hike!”
Please contact me with your Strawberry and Pine happenings at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 602-790-0248.