It should be the 11th Pinehurst Labor Day senior citizens’ picnic, but will be the 10th.

The celebration was postponed in 2008 because of the approaching Hurricane Ike.

Then after the storm was gone, it was thought the event would be rescheduled.

Eventually it was not, but that will change this Labor Day, Sept. 7, at the Family Worship Center (old Bancroft Elementary School). 

Visitors may park at the school or at the Sabine Federal Credit Union, where they can take a shuttle to the picnic.

“We were going to go ahead and have it later [in 2008], but because of all the [storm] repercussions we decided not to,” says Mayor T.W. Permenter. “Everybody I see this year, everywhere I go they say, ‘We’re going to have the picnic.’ And I say, ‘Yep, you bet we’re having it.’

“Our city suffered losses in the eastern part, mostly in the Camelot Division. We’re still having repercussions from that. The lift stations were all under water, and there was a lot of infrastructure damage. In the city itself, we didn’t really have any problems that amounted to anything. We never lost sewer and water in the city.”

The picnic will begin at 10 a.m. and usually ends around 2 p.m.

Entertainer Britt Godwin and his band will perform. Food provided by the city and Robert’s Steakhouse will be served starting at 11 a.m. The menu will be gumbo, links, potato salad and soft drinks.
Door prizes include gift certificates, gift baskets and a Zenith flatscreen television.

“All our prizes from last year and donations that were brought in; not a soul wanted to take back,” Permenter says. “They said, ‘Just keep it for this year.’”

Although the prizes are confined to Pinehurst seniors, everyone is invited, he says.

“We get people from Orangefield, Little Cypress, West Orange and everywhere else,” he says.

To qualify for senior prizes, participants must be 60 or over, and register at the picnic.

For more information, or to make a financial or prize donation for next year’s event, call Pinehurst City Hall at 886-3873. It takes about $5,000 to host each event.

The picnic began in 1998 under the administration of Mayor Pete Runnels.

“We’re looking for a great turnout,” Permenter says.

Businesses contributing gift certificates or prizes this year include Kam Wah Buffet, Precision Archery, Larry’s Barber Shop, Cornbread’s, Walgreens, Farmers Mercantile, Technical Resource, Dr. Walter E. Landisch, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, Casa Bella restaurant, Orange Savings Bank, Frank’s Medical Mart and the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Pinehurst was incorporated as a city on Nov. 19, 1955, according to the city’s Web site. The name Pinehurst came from Pinehurst Ranch, owned by businessman Edgar Brown Jr. on the town’s west side; and because of the growing pine trees in the area.

At the time of incorporation, the city had about 600 residents and several small businesses. The population grew slowly to 2,270, according to the 2000 census; and businesses increased dramatically along the major thoroughfares of MacArthur and Strickland drive.
Described as a mix of Southern charm, Cajun culture and the Old West, the city is represented by the Greater Orange Area Chamber and is a member of the Orange County Economic Development Corp.