It should be the 12th Pinehurst Labor Day senior citizens’ picnic, but will be the 11th.
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, and this Labor Day, Sept. 6, the picnic celebrants will gather at the Family Worship Center (old Bancroft Elementary School on 41st Street).

On average, more than 500 people attend the event and each year, organizers hope to see the previous amount of attendees surpassed.

Visitors will be allowed to park at the school or take shuttles from Sabine Federal Credit Union, Optimist Village and the Meadows Nursing Home.

Pinehurst Mayor T.W. Permenter says, “As in the past, there will be lots of food, music and good fellowship.”

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 slightly changed this year to include gumbo with rice, barbecue links, potato salad, lemonade and cakes for desert,” says Robert’s Steakhouse and Meat Market owner and manager Robert Ramirez.

There will be drawings for door prizes for seniors age 55 and older, and many area businesses will be contributing gift certificates or prizes this year.

Although the prizes are confined to Pinehurst seniors, everyone is invited to the event, mentioned Permenter.

“We get people from Orangefield, Little Cypress, West Orange and everywhere else,” he says.
To qualify for senior prizes, participants must register at the picnic and prizes will be distributed after lunch.

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 and it’s always been a good picnic for the citizens,” Permenter says.

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.