Celebrating Strawberry Season

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The 23rd annual Strawberry Festival returns this Saturday and Sunday to Pine and neighboring Strawberry — and it promises to be bigger and better than ever this year.

“In addition to the more than 90 food and arts and craft vendors that will be in and around the community center and up and down the streets, we’re excited to have four new features to this year’s festival,” said event co-coordinator Sheri Earp.

“In the Pine Hardware parking lot, there will be a petting zoo for the children and WOW Bubbles exhibit — adults and kids can actually get into an inflated ball and maneuver it around a pool that will be set up, much the way a hamster runs around in a ball. Now, that should be a riot.”

Also, next to the cultural hall at the Pine Community Center, there will be a Kids’ Corner where the children will imbed their handprints into a paving stone that they can take home. And the final new event is in downtown Strawberry — the Largest Swap Meet on the Mountain event. You can drive to it or hop on the shuttle van and be there in less than five minutes. And they’ll even bring you back.

Live music will be provided by local favorite Trouble in Paradise and other bands. On Sunday morning a gospel group will perform.

Plus, the Strawberry Festival wouldn’t be complete without the usual abundance of Strawberry products. “Strawberry flats and pints will be available for purchase, as well strawberry pies, cakes, ice cream and all kinds of other strawberry treats,” said Earp.

And while you’re enjoying the Strawberry Festival, be sure to gaze out to the west, you just may see a Strawberry Roan or two in the meadow.

This week’s question

This week’s music question is: Can you name the country-pop crossover artist who recorded the song “The Strawberry Roan,” which appeared on his 1959 album “Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs”?

This popular artist was born Martin David Robinson on Sept. 26, 1925 in Glendale, Ariz. He died of heart failure in 1982 at the age of 57.

From 1944-47, he served in the U.S. Navy. In 1951, he hosted the “Western Caravan” television show in Phoenix and later acted in the movies “Road to Nashville” and “Guns of a Stranger.”

This singer/songwriter/guitarist charted 94 songs, from 1952 through 1983, on Billboard’s country chart and 24 on its pop chart. In all, 16 of his songs went to No. 1. His 1959 hit, “El Paso,” topped both the country and pop charts. Some of his other top hits were “Singing the Blues,” “Devil Woman” and “A White Sport Coat (and a Pink Carnation).”

Is this “Strawberry Roan” artist: A) Johnny Horton, B) Sonny James, C) Marty Robbins or D) Jimmy Dean?

Be caller number six this week and have the right answer and you’ll win this artist’s greatest hits CD.

Last week’s question

This past week’s music trivia question asked if you could name the folk group that recorded the 1993 single “Garden Song.”

This trio formed in 1961 in Greenwich Village, New York and became arguably the most popular folk group of the 1960s, outdistancing themselves from their rivals The Kingston Trio and the Brothers Four. Among their top songs were their 1963 hits “Puff the Magic Dragon” and “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

Was this folk trio: A) Peter, Paul & Mary. B) The Sandpipers. C) The Serendipity Singers or D) The Rooftop Singers?

The correct answer was Peter, Paul & Mary.

The other three choices were also popular folk groups in the 1960s. You may remember their top hits — the Sandpipers’ 1966 “Guantanamera,” the Serendipity Singers’ 1964 “Don’t let the Rain Come Down” and the Rooftop Singers’ 1963 “Walk Right In.”

Congratulations to this past week’s second-time music trivia winner, Alan Kline, who won a CD of American folk song favorites.

A final note

The third of the free concerts under the stars at Green Valley Park will take place this Saturday night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The five-member group, Blue Frog, will return for its second year, bringing “a little rock ’n’ roll and blues to the stage,” lead guitarist “Little” Al told me.

The band formed four years ago and plays many a weekend at Sidewinders in Pine. When I asked Al what artists’ music we can expect to hear this Saturday, he said “The good, upbeat dancing music of B.B. King, the Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Howlin’ Wolf.”

It should be another great night of entertainment at Green Valley Park.

DJ Craig, (928) 468-1482

Web site:www.djcraiginpayson.com

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