It all began at a PTA meeting in the fall of 1935. Penrose School was to host the Rural Invitational Softball Tournament. Being a warm and hospitable community, the PTA members were wondering how to entertain the many visitors who would come to play in the tournament and watch the game.
R.A. Peterson, Superintendent of schools, suggested that since Penrose was famous for it’s flavorful apples, it would be appropriate to center the day’s activities around apples and to give them for prizes. Mrs. Todd, VP of the PTA suggested, "Why don’t we give them a free piece of apple pie." And so a tradition was started.
On September 27th, 1935, the Penrose Press reported that Beaver Park was preparing for one of the biggest events held in years. The first Apple Day was scheduled for October 5th with 15 softball teams competing for the Championship of the Fremont County School League. Ace horseshoe pitchers matched skills in the ancient and honored game of "Barnyard Golf". There were also speeches on political and economic subjects.
After the morning activities, a potluck picnic dinner was served, and topped off with apple pie and cider. The Prison Orchestra, under the direction of E.A. Stone, a Penrose resident, provided music for the evening dance under the sponsorship of the PTA.
Chairman of the various committees in 1935 were: Charles E. White (Reception), Robert Peterson (Softball), John E. Wright (Apple Prizes), Albert Niehans (Apple Cider), Mrs. W.C. Todd (Apple Pie), L.A. Pruit (Horseshoes), and J.L. Howland (Park).
The first Penrose Apple Day was a huge success.
The above information was written by May Gillespie, deceased wife of Otis Gillespie, a long time resident of Penrose. It appeared in the Penrose Choice many years ago.
The Penrose Chamber of Commerce took over the reins of Apple Day in 1999 and is held the first Saturday in October.