The festival season may not be on the minds of too many people in January, except for the members of the Pine Strawberry Business Community (PSBC), who know that it’s never too early to think about festivals.
PSBC is a non-profit group that sponsors events to boost town revenue and bring the community and families together. The festivals bring a nostalgic “hometown feeling” and thousands of visitors — and dollars — that PSBC puts back into the community to benefit local charities and residents.
Members are full- and part-time community members and business owners with diverse backgrounds and a spirit of community. There are approximately 30 members, with 12 to 15 who actively participate in planning and working to make the festivals succeed. It is a huge task for the small handful of volunteers.
Lynne Coykendall said, “It is hard to get people who want to join even though an individual membership is just $10 and a business is $25. Most of the 12 to 15 members who do the work have their own shops and have to close them up to be at the festivals to do the work that needs to be done. There are times when I wish we could clone people so there would be more of us!”
One thing for sure, PSBC has shown the difference a few dedicated individuals can make in a community. They have put P/S on the map as the go-to place for family fun.
In 2013, visitors will pack up the SUV and head to the mountains to occupy our campgrounds, eating establishments, shops and scenic attractions. They will rent all-terrain vehicles, ride horses and hike with llamas. They will peruse travel Web sites and event calendars, and schedule their trips to coincide with events like the Strawberry and Apple Festivals.
This year, PSBC will sponsor the fourth annual May Day Celebration, the 23rd annual Strawberry Festival, the third annual Mountain Daze Festival, the sixth annual Fall Apple Festival (with second annual combined Apple Festival and Antique Show) and the annual Festival of Lights, Craft Show and Christmas Tree Lighting.
The events gain momentum as PSBC members work together to bring new ideas to the table. Kids love the bounce house, face-painting, clowns and pony rides. The “Kid’s Korner” has strengthened the “kid-friendly” atmosphere and become a vital component, growing each year by leaps and bounds. Pets, too, are important and are always welcomed in P/S, from vendors with dog treats to water stations throughout the town and venue. Festivalgoers can enjoy pancake breakfasts, Navajo tacos, ice cream, unique food vendor items and a Chili Cook-off.
There are classic car and tractor shows and surprisingly wonderful raffles. This year, a prized kayak will be up for grabs.
Music is an important element of a festival, and you won’t be disappointed this year. Local celebrity, DJ Craig will be back spinning the greatest tunes of all time. His music collection is as legendary as his knowledge of music trivia in all genres. Chuck and Barb (Trouble in Paradise), founders of the local Fiddlers Jam, will perform at the Strawberry Festival, bringing their talented and versatile friends along for a Jazz Fest.
The 2013 P/S festival season is looking to be a dog-gone good one! On Jan. 16, seven highly motivated and dedicated PSBC members, and a dog named Cha Cha, met at Pine’s Coach House Antiques for the first meeting of the year. The group meets on the third Wednesday of the month at the Pine Fire Station or a local business. They encourage community members to join in supporting the small-town festival tradition.
It takes a community to put on a festival! Now would be a great time for new or current members to step up and bring your unique talent, skill and enthusiasm to make this a memorable year. Come work with members in coordinating the various aspects prior to and during events; from organizing the Chili Cook-off to making, serving, sampling or judging it; preparing, baking and serving strawberry and apple treats, or many other tasks that must be undertaken. You can make a difference!
The PSBC volunteers give of their time and labor to help the community and expect little in return. Please visit their Web site to see how you can get involved at www.psbcaz.com, visit their Facebook page or contact Sheri Moe Earp at (928) 476-3655.
Pine Public Library
The annual See’s Candy Valentine’s Day fund-raiser started Wednesday, Jan. 23 at the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library. Say “I love you” with great candy selections and help the library obtain needed materials. They have heart-shaped boxes, lollipops, peanut brittle and much more. Come in early to get the best selection!
Mark your calendar now for some upcoming highlights. See “Hotel Transylvania” Feb. 27 for February Movie Madness, and then it’s Dr. Seuss’ Birthday Celebration on March 2.
The Church on Randall Place
Local churches offer programs that bring neighbors together to enrich their life and the lives of others. One of these is the Women’s Ministry at the Church on Randall Place. Led by Simone Lake, women’s director, the group has a community outreach through volunteerism at hospice and senior centers. They participate in “Moms in Prayer” (formerly “Moms in Touch”) and host a baby shower to benefit New Beginnings Pregnancy and Education Center. Recently, the group met to make salvation bracelets for an upcoming Ecuador Missions trip as part of their ongoing Crafts, Fellowship and Food event.
Afternoon and evening craft events take place in members’ homes from Strawberry to Payson.
For information, contact Simone at (928) 595-0837 or visit the church Web site at www.churchonrandallplace.org.
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