Area senior citizens are eagerly anticipating the annual city of Pinehurst Labor Day picnic on Monday.

The picnic began 13 years ago when the Pinehurst Mayor Pete Runnels came up with the idea. The tradition has carried on every year except 2008 when the picnic was first postponed, then cancelled due to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

Like in years past, about 650 are expected to arrive for the good food and a chance to visit with friends. There is no charge to those 60 years of age or older.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Family Worship Center located at 2300 41st Street. Workers will begin serving food around 11:15 a.m.

This year, Robert’s Meat Market and Restaurant will once again be catering the delicious meal. They will serve a smoked link, potato salad, chicken and sausage gumbo and a dessert.

Providing the entertainment will be a live band and a line dance group. In addition, there will be door prizes such as 42-inch flat screen TV and a rocking chair.

Parking is available at the church for some of the vehicles. However, others can park at the Sabine Federal Credit Union. A shuttle bus at the credit union will be provided to the event and later return them safely back to their vehicles, according to Joe Parkhurst, Pinehurst city manager.

He said the reason it was started was to take a recognized holiday that wasn’t necessarily a family holiday and do something that friends and neighbors could come together and share companionship. “It was all for the people and it’s been a good thing.”

Roy Dunn, publisher of The Record Newspapers shares watermelon with Orange poet laureate Pearl Burgess. RECORD PHOTO: Penny LeLeux