Pine was buzzing with activity Memorial Day weekend as throngs of visitors poured into the Rim Country to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the 34th Annual Arts and Crafts Guild Spring Show.
It traditionally is one of the biggest attractions among the nine summer and fall festivals and this year was no exception as overflow crowds strolled through the many antique, art, crafts and boutique booths set up around the community center ramada.
“We had 78 crafters and when I checked on them Sunday, they all seemed to be pleased with sales,” said Gail Jones of the Arts and Crafts Guild. “We had about 15 different crafters from last year.”
While attendance numbers are not kept because admission is not charged, Jones took notice of the good sized crowds, “The streets and festival had lots of people.”
Judging by the long serving lines at the pancake breakfast, it appears the Mountain Village Foundation- hosted early morning meals served both Saturday and Sunday, were a big success.
“I had lots of good reviews on their pancakes,” said Jones.
The foundation will be serving the breakfasts again during the Independence Day and Labor Day weekends.
Of course, with so many visitors in town, volunteer law enforcement officers played a huge role in the success of the event.
“The Arts and Crafts Guild would like to thank the Gila County Sheriff’s Posse for security, traffic control and all their help,” Jones said.
Mountain Village Foundation is a nonprofit, fundraising, volunteer organization which exists to help children and families in the Pine/Strawberry communities.
MVF, formerly Strawberry’s Elite, works throughout the year to raise funds to help wherever needed, whether it is clothes, lunches or Christmas gifts for our children or a medical, food or utility bill emergency for a neighbor in need.
Mountain Village Foundation meets the first Thursday of each month at the StrawBEARy Bear. New members and visitors are always welcome. Arrive at 5:30 to socialize and order dinner. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. For more information, log on to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Christy at (928) 476-2239.
Pine and Strawberry residents awoke Sunday morning to the smell of smoke and the sight of it wafting over the Rim.
Apparently that alarmed some who at first believed an undetected forest fire could be threatening our tiny mountain hamlets.
Reportedly, the U.S. Forest Service received enough phone calls to prompt the agency to send a spotter airplane north from Payson to search for fires.
Eventually, however, it was determined that the smoke was coming from the Slide Fire burning in Oak Creek Canyon.
Pine Strawberry Senior Citizen Affairs Foundation (SCAF) members are hosting a potluck and bingo tet-together at 5 p.m. June 13 in the community dining room.
Their invitation is to “Bring your favorite summer dish and come have some fun, meet old friends and make new friends.”
Membership in SCAF is open to full- or part-time residents of Pine, Strawberry and surrounding communities who are 50 years of age or older.
Members are urged to volunteer when opportunities arise and to make suggestions for special activities and educational programs.
Throughout the year, SCAF members enjoy a variety of regular activities including movies, potluck dinners, board games, bingo and a variety of card games.
Membership is $5 per year.
For more information, email SCAF@pinestrawberryscaf.com.
Squirrely Shirley visits Pine
Squirrely Shirley Discovers the Magic of Science with Puppets, the first offering in the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library’s upcoming summer reading program, takes place from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, June 4.
The show is billed as a laugh and learn puppet and storytelling program for children and families.
According to program reviews, the show features an irrepressible, rascal squirrel with an inquisitive mind and her storytelling friend, Glenda Bonin, who tries to keep Shirley from getting into trouble.
Past audiences have got caught up in trying to let Shirley know that to be a good scientist, she needs to be careful to read instructions and be patient — things Shirley is inclined to forget.
As Shirley gathers material for an experiment, Glenda tells a story for everyone to enjoy.
In the end, the audience is reminded to learn lots about science, check out a book from the library and do lots of summer reading.
The program is free and parents are welcome to attend.
Brush, brush and more brush
It’s obvious from the number of brush piles accumulating along Pine and Strawberry streets that property owners are making good use of the re-instituted brush pickup program.
There is, however, one caveat in the popularity of the pickups.
In the brush piling up are large plastic bags filled with pine needles and clippings. Since those plastic bags cannot be taken to the landfill, brush truck workers must empty them into the trailer which has slowed down the entire pickup process.
In an effort to maintain the pace of the route schedule, Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction Committee members are scouring the two towns searching for volunteers to help with the bags.
Volunteers can drive their own truck to pick up the bags, empty them and take the brush to the landfill.
Such help would mean the brush truck won’t be slowed by having to stop for the bags.
Volunteers can also ride along in the brush truck to help empty the bags thereby relieving the driver of those duties.
The Pine-Strawberry Fire Department once operated the brush pickup program, but when grants to fund it dried up last year, the Fuel Reduction Committee began a fundraising campaign that earned $14,500 — just enough to restart the program for one round of pickups this summer.
With only a single round of pickups, it is imperative to keep the program on schedule.
Residents can do their part by volunteering to help with the trash bags.
To volunteer or for more information, call (928) 970-0713.
For this year’s program, Pine has been divided into pickup zones 1 through 4 and Strawberry into 5 through 8.
The committee’s advice to residents to find out the zone they reside in and determine the deadline for leaving brush at curbside.
Zone maps and pickup dates are available on the committee’s website: psfuelreduction.org.