Hope you caught your breath this week — you’ll need it to get through another busy weekend in the Rim Country.
The Homecoming festivities at Payson High School get things rolling with the annual Homecoming Parade up Main Street this today followed by the big Homecoming Game against St. Johns at 7:30 p.m., tonight at Longhorn Stadium. Then win-or-lose, students will celebrate Saturday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Homecoming Dance. Tickets will cost $12 for a single ticket or $20 for a couple at the bookstore early — or $14 and $22 at the door.
Fiddlers festival, concert
Meanwhile, the town will stage the Old Time Payson Opry at the high school auditorium — also on Friday night. Well-known Nashville singer Suzy Bogguss will headline and the popular Michael Rolland and Friends will also appear. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the music starts at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $8 per person. In theory, you could come to the concert and still catch the second half of the Homecoming matchup against Snowflake, one of the best teams in the state.
Come Saturday at 9 a.m., Payson hosts the 43rd Annual Old Time Fiddle Contest, which continues through Sunday at the Payson Event Center. Preliminary competition takes place Saturday, along with a new Fiddle-In Band Competition and a dinner concert with the Crucial County Band. Admission costs $5 for adults and no charge for kids under 12. The dinner concert costs $10.
The $5-per-ticket Arizona State Fiddle Championship starts at 11 a.m., Sunday, after a 9 a.m. gospel program.
The fun doesn’t end there.
Choose between two of the best barbecues around on Saturday. That includes the 32nd annual Sy Harrison Masonic Lodge deep-pit barbecue next to the Payson North fire station from noon to 4 p.m. Lunch costs $9 for adults and $4 for kids.
The $10 annual Pioneer Dinner barbecue starts at 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28 at the Tonto Apache Recreation Center and features both barbecued beef and chicken along with side dishes. Taylor Hale and Clay Sopeland will provide live music leading to a $5-a-ticket raffle for a whole hog and a whole beef. Raffle tickets are $5 each.
In addition, the Ponderosa Chapter #64, Order of the Eastern Star will host its eighth annual Arts and Craft Show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at the Masonic Lodge, 200 E. Rancho Rd., Payson. One of the best craft shows of the year, artisans will offer both handmade and vintage jewelry and fabric works.