Do you ever wonder why so many people flock to our area in the summertime? Probably for much the same reasons most of us have chosen to call Pine and Strawberry home.
Many come to escape the heat or the noise of the city and bask in the beauty and solitude of the Rim Country.
Visitors feel they have stepped back in time and are in a Norman Rockwell print. Throughout Pine and Strawberry there are living scenes of what America used to be. From old-fashioned festivals and fun family events to rural scenes with horses, old barns and farm equipment, pioneer homes and historical landmarks. Sightseers wonder if they have enough capacity in their camera or enough time to take it all in.
It reminds them of the place where their grandparents were raised, the retirement location they are dreaming of, or a safe and wholesome place to raise their children.
There are breathtaking views, mountains, forests, hiking and ATV trails, campgrounds, streams and lakes, nature and wildlife, goats and llamas, antique shops and specialty stores, artists and art galleries, quilters and crafters, quaint eating and drinking establishments, ice cream shops, historical sites and structures, and friendly people.
Come escape the hustle and bustle of your busy life and relax with us in Pine and Strawberry where there’s always something amazing to see and do.
Tomorrow — Saturday, July 7 — you can celebrate Arizona’s 100th birthday in a hometown centennial event sponsored by the Pine Library and the Pine/Strawberry Historical Society. The centennial parade begins at 10:30 a.m. in downtown Pine. The parade is sure to bring back yesteryear with everything from kids with wagons, old tractors and cars, horses and plenty of American flags.
The Historical Society will host a community barbecue under the ramada from noon to 2 p.m. Cost is $8 per person or $5 for those 12 and under.
There will be children’s activities at noon under the ramada, and a speaker on the history of Pine and Strawberry in the Cultural Hall at 1 p.m. At 2 p.m., enjoy a special program on flags in the Cultural Hall.
From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library is hosting a community dance in the Pine Cultural Hall with music by Junction 87. Refreshments will be available. You can get a feeling for what it was like during the area’s frontier days when people would come from miles around to enjoy the homegrown music and dancing at the little school houses spread around Rim Country.
Pine is the place to be to celebrate our country’s independence and our state’s birthday in the true spirit of America. Don’t forget your cowboy hat!
Old Time Fiddlers’ Jam
In addition to great festivals and country hospitality, fiddle music is another facet of the pioneer heritage, charm and lure of Pine and Strawberry.
The Old Time Fiddlers’ Jam is a must-go-to event on the third Wednesday of each month from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Pine Cultural Hall. Attended by anywhere from 20 to 120 people each month, the event has been taking place in the area for 15 years and is the longest running fiddlers’ “jam session” in the area.
Locals, out-of-towners, hikers and passing motorists often stop in to enjoy the great, foot-stomping music.
Chuck and Barbara Casey are favorites in this neck of the woods with their band Trouble In Paradise. They have been playing at the event since its inception, accompanied by other great musicians including locals Paul Betts and Arvid Thompson. Visiting musicians randomly join in and play like they really mean it! With searing fiddling, great vocals, banjo, guitars, harmonica, or perhaps a washboard or spoons in the mix, everyone is invited to join in as the audience sings along to old time tunes like “Margie” from the early 20th Century. Bring your tambourine and join us in the Cultural Hall for great fiddle music Pine-Strawberry style.
The next Old Time Fiddlers’ Jam is at 1 p.m., Wednesday, July 18. The Pine Cultural Hall is located in downtown Pine at the Community Center on Highway 87.
Pine Strawberry Thrift Store
When in Pine, you don’t want to miss the great variety and deals that can only be found in the old brick schoolhouse turned Community Center that now houses the Thrift Shop. All T-shirts and ladies’ pants will be three for $1 and all shoes are 50 percent off through July 7. Then, from July 11 to July 14, go Hawaiian with fun Hawaiian décor and adult Hawaiian shirts just $3 each. Small kitchen appliances will be priced at 50 percent off.
The Pine Thrift Store is operated by SCAF (the Senior Citizens Affairs Foundation) and proceeds fund valuable programs for the seniors of Pine and Strawberry. Donations are always welcomed and appreciated and pick-up service is available in the area by calling (928) 476-4633.
Photography crash course
This special class, with Arizona Highways Magazine contributing photographer Lynn Sankey, is open to all beginning and intermediate photographers. Whether you are photographing wildlife in your own backyard or beautiful landscapes, you will learn how to capture that perfect shot. The class is July 21 at the Pine Library Activity Room and the price is just $55. To sign up, visit www.lynnsankeyphotography.com or call (602) 790-4282. It’s another great opportunity locally that you don’t want to miss.
Book signing at the Pine Library
The library is hosting three Rim Country authors who contributed to the anthology “Skirting Traditions – Arizona Women Writers and Journalists 1912 to 2012.” This official event of the Arizona Centennial Legacy Project will take place at the library from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, July 28. Copies of the book are available for purchase at the library on Randall Place.
Please send your Pine Strawberry happenings to firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (602) 790-0248.