Apollo readies for moon landing celebration Saturday
The 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing will be celebrated Saturday in the borough of Apollo with a flurry of activities from a traditional ice cream eating contest to a virtual jet engine display from the Air Force.
Most events will be held at Owens Grove along Apollo’s North Second Avenue, while other events such as a car cruise will be held at the nearby football field parking lot. A free shuttle and free parking will be available in the shopping plaza.
The festivities run from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The borough’s first celebration of the landmark moon landing featured a parade and special U.S. postmark in Apollo on July 21, 1969 — the day after astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon.
In following years, Apollo’s celebration grew to a weeklong event with fireworks, a parade and a carnival that contributed essential dollars to the borough’s volunteer fire companies.
Although lack of money and changing times dimmed prospects for the traditional baton twirling and long parades of yesteryear, the Apollo Area Historical Society planned a menu of events Saturday with the help of Apollo Hose Company No. 2, Apollo-Ridge Education Foundation and the Apollo Lions Club.
“We wanted to do something small town like old-fashioned free kids games, but we wanted to remind the community that 50 years ago something big happened,” said Sue Ott, vice president of the historical society.
“We don’t have a lot of money to put into it, but we can still have a really good time,” she said.
A “Mission Control” tent with a schedule of events will be available at the corner of Owens Grove along North Second Street.
Events include live entertainment, a fitness challenge, rock climbing wall, bike decorating contest, relay races, cornhole tournament, ice cream eating contest, interactive journey through the solar system presentation, an Air Force virtual jet engine display and a battle of the barrel.
There also will be exhibits at the Women’s Christian Temperance Union building — home of the Apollo Area Historical Society, a car cruise, book and jewelry sale at the Apollo Memorial Library, an Apollo moon landing quilt show at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church, a football tournament, an Apollo-Kiski Little League coach-pitch tournament, a foam party closing out the day and more.
Special Postal Service postmark Saturday
The historical society gained approval from the U.S. Postal Service for a special hand-stamped postmark on Saturday to commemorate the borough’s moon landing celebration.
The special postmark and specially designed envelope with the new federal moon landing stamp will be available Saturday with live postal services.
The artwork for the hand-canceled stamp was designed by Joe Kerr Jr. and the artwork for the commemorative envelope was designed by Dolly McCoy. Both are borough residents who donated their services.
Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .