Holiday Madness Hits Pine City

Pine City will celebrate the holiday season this Friday with the 13th Annual Holiday Madness event.  The community is invited to participate this week in the variety of activities that will be held.

Join us in supporting the Pine Community Food Shelf and the Pine County Toys for Tots with our annual “Pine City Gives” promotion.  Donate an item to either of these organizations now through December 5th to receive your entry to win over $500 in Chamber Bucks.  Donations are accepted at these locations:  Voyageur Bottle Shop, Stearns Bank, Cabin Coffees, Northwoods Bank, Frandsen Bank & Trust and Anytime Fitness.

The Christmas Carol Parade begins at 6:00 PM on Friday evening.  The route begins at the corner of 8th Avenue & Main Street next to Waxberg Clinic and will travel north on Hwy 61 to 3rd Ave SE, then go to Robinson Park in downtown Pine City. The parade features a variety of lighted floats with Christmas Carol themes and many new units will be joining the parade this year.  We are excited to welcome the Senior High Choirs, led by Jennifer Krinke, as a unit in the parade.  The student group will lead the 2014 parade and share traditional songs with the parade viewers.  The Pine City Pioneer will award prizes for the bests float entries this year.

The lighting of the Christmas tree in Robinson Park will take place immediately following the end of the Christmas Carol Parade, so hurry on down!  A special presentation by the Elementary School choir, led by Jennifer Hansmann, has been added to this year’s line-up.  The Pine Area Lions have donated Holiday Treat Bags for the kids.  The Pine City Ambassadors will be distributing them following the end of the parade in Robinson Park.

Holiday Madness is made possible thanks to these generous sponsors:  Anytime Fitness, Central MN Coins & Antiques, Chris’ Food Center, Coldwell Banker Results, Currie, Pangerl & Associates, PHASE Furnishings, Todd’s Tax Service and Voyageur Bottle Shop.

The Pine City Area Chamber of Commerce, sponsor of the events, invites everyone in East Central Minnesota to enjoy this day of Christmas cheer by taking advantage of the many events.  Throughout the evening we encourage members of the community to use this evening as an opportunity to shop or dine at one of our local businesses.

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Awards - 2014

Pictured are Henry Fischer (2014 Citizen Planner); and Steve and Nick Berchin (2014 Site Improvement Award – Berchin’s A&W Family Restaurant).   Not pictured:  Chris and Ann Campbell, owners of Campbell Auto & Tire, another 2014 Site Improvement Award winner.

At its meeting Nov. 25, the Pine City Planning Commission gave out three awards, one to a “Citizen Planner” and the others to businesses that have invested in improvements to their respective properties.

Henry Fischer is a Pokegama Township Board Supervisor and was named the 2014 Citizen Planner for his level of involvement, overall positive effect on the community, length of commitment and leadership in the realm of planning.

“The Planning Commission felt that Henry Fischer offered valuable input, on behalf of Pokegama Township, in the City’s comprehensive planning process over the past couple of years,” said Nathan Johnson, Community Development Director.

Two businesses were recognized for improving their business sites, Berchin’s A&W Family Restaurant, at 820 Main St. S., and Campbell Auto & Tire, at 635 13th St S.  On behalf of the Berchin family, Nick and Steve Berchin were on-hand to accept the award.

“A staple on Main Street in Pine City, A&W not only has the car-hop but the business also put in a patio, al fresco dining, and some new signage which looks fantastic,” said Johnson.

Chris and Ann Campbell bought the former Reddog Billy’s Sports Bar property in April of this year and renovated it into the Campbell Construction headquarters as well as Campbell Tire & Auto (relocated from downtown).  Since, Hair Tech & Tan (relocated from Evergreen Square) has co-located in the building as well.

“These awards are well deserved,” stated Johnson.   “Each of the award winners’ vision and diligence is greatly appreciated.”

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Pine City Elem. School Promotes Drop-off Safety

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Pine City EDA airs ad to support businesses during construction

Road construction has had quite an impact on Pine City over the past several months.  Businesses along Old Highway 61 South, as well as County Road 8 (3rd Avenue SE) and Historic 5th Street have surely felt the effects.

“We all know good roads and sidewalks are important for business activity,” said Nathan Johnson, Pine City’s community development director.  “But during the projects, we oftentimes hear that a negative affect is felt.”

That is why, at its recent meeting, the Pine City Economic Development Authority approved the purchase of advertising a on local radio station to encourage local support of the businesses most affected.   The ad will play on Red Rock Radio (WCMP/WXCX) beginning this week.


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Trick-or-Treat for Food Shelf

The cast and crew of “Alice in Wonderland”, the fall play being presented by Pine City High School, may be knocking on your door this Friday evening.  But the students won’t be asking for candy, they will be looking for donations of non-perishable food items to be donated to the Pine Community Food Shelf.  This is the ninth year of the community service project.  The students will identify themselves as members of the production and will not be wearing traditional Halloween costumes.

According to director Becky Schueller, the event is one that the students really enjoy participating in.

“As my first year with this group of students, I was asked early on in the rehearsals if we would be continuing the ‘Trick-or-Treat’ tradition,” she said.  “As someone who believes strongly in the effectiveness that students can have in the community by volunteering, my response was an easy one ‘Of course we will!’”.

We hope that the community will donate non-perishable goods if they are able.  Students will be walking neighborhoods surrounding the elementary school from 6 – 7:30 p.m. on Friday evening, Oct. 31.

Performances of “Alice in Wonderland” are Nov. 14, 15 and 16.  Tickets are on sale at Cabin Coffees, the Chamber of Commerce office or at the door.  For more information on the show, call 320.298.0014.

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Pine City found to have some of the most expensive insurance

When it comes to the cost of car insurance, Pine City ranks near the top among Minnesota cities, according to a recent report.

The study by Value Penguin of 109 cities and 18 insurers in the state placed Pine City in the 6th spot.

Minnesotans can see, on average, premiums of about $1,152 per year.  The city with the cheapest car insurance was Mankato, which averaged $1,009 per year in premiums.

In fact, the top five cities with the least expensive premiums were located in the southeast region.  Rounding out that top five were Austin, Albert Lea, Winona and Rochester. Faribault came in at 52nd.

The most expensive cities were St. Paul at $1,303 annual average followed by Minneapolis, Forest Lake, Cambridge and North Branch.

Pine City drivers pay, on average $1,250 per year.

Costs of the Value Penguin study are based on basic liability protection for a 2010 Toyota Camry.  The rates are based off of two sample drivers, a single 30-year-old male and 65-year-old male with a clean driving record.

For a complete list, see

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Snowmobile Club Plans Fall Event

The Hinckley – Pine City Flames Snowmobile Club is planning a Fall Meet & Greet event for the community.  All are welcome to join the fun on Saturday, September 27th from Noon – 4:00 PM.  Club members and grooming volunteers will be available to answer questions about Club Membership and Snowmobile Safety Training.



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FREE: Pick your own sweet corn

Sweet Corn

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3 Chambers put on Old Highway 61 Business Expo Sat., Sept. 20

Business Expo Poster

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Pine City boy turns heads at World’s Largest Miniature Horse Show

Merrick as the Headless Horseman in the Costume Class.

Merrick as the Headless Horseman in the Costume Class.

It is the largest mini-horse show in the world, held in Tulsa, OK, at Expo Square. And, a Pine City second grader named Merrick took his share of ribbons and hardware back to Minnesota with him last weekend.

The creativity was evident as children and their horses dressed up in elaborate costumes. In the Costume Class, there was a Wizard of Oz theme — with ruby slippers and all. Bob Ross and his happy trees made an appearance as well. And, Merrick portrayed the headless horseman; in that competition, he took sixth in the nation.

Merrick and his grandfather, Dan Fury, driving.

Merrick and his grandfather, Dan Fury, driving.

His best performance was in the Youth Western Country Pleasure Driving class on Saturday, however, where he was named the United States’ reserve national champion. Besides being shown on the jumbotron in the Built Ford Tough Arena — he was told to take a victory lap and received two pieces of hardware, a horse trophy and a silver plate. There were a number of other ribbons earned by Merrick that day in other classes.

There are two types of mini horses recognized. The “A” miniatures are up to 34 inches tall and the “B” horses can’t come in any taller than 38 inches. Merrick’s was a B.

The American Miniature horse registry has about 10,000 horses registered, and the nationals run until Sept. 16.

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