Pinehurst officials are in the final planning stages for the 10th Labor Day senior citizens’ picnic, set for Monday at the Family Worship Center (formerly Bancroft Elementary School).

In a committee meeting this week at city hall, co-organizer Pam Willey, owner of Prescribed Home Health, added two rocking chairs to the donated prizes. Walmart recently donated some two-liter soft drink bottles.

“We’re all ready to go,” said Mayor T.W. Permenter. “We have some 45 prizes to give away, from a TV to gift cards. We expect somewhere around 800 people. Robert Ramirez will provide the food – with sausage, gumbo and barbecue. This is considered a senior event, and although we invite everyone we’d like the ask the younger folks to think of the seniors when it comes to seating, because seats will be scare.”

The celebration was rescheduled in 2008 because of the approaching Hurricane Ike. Later, it was canceled, however, all of the prizes from last year were kept and Permenter says there is no cost to the city for this year’s event.

Visitors may park at the school or at Sabine Federal Credit Union, where they can take a shuttle to the picnic. The picnic will begin at 10 a.m. and usually ends around 2 p.m. Entertainer Britt Godwin and his band will perform. 

Other door prizes include gift baskets. To be eligible for a prize, one must be a senior citizen (60 or older) and resident of Pinehurst, and be officially registered 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.

The picnic began in 1998 under the administration of Mayor Pete Runnels, who chatted with Buddy Wolford, among others, during the 2007 picnic.

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 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.