Proud Of East Texas: Alma Penn -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News


Proud Of East Texas: Alma Penn

In 1933, while the remainder of the country was in the midst of the Great Depression, East Texas was abundant with oil and roses, setting the stage for the first Texas Rose Festival.  Alma Penn, 94, has been at every Rose Festival since the event was launched.

Alma was an early volunteer at the festival and even de-thorned roses as one of her jobs. In 1937, her role became more social when she married F.O. Penn, who later became President of the Rose Festival Association.

From 1942 through 1946 the Rose Festival was canceled due to World War II. In 1947, the festival returned "better than ever". It has continued to grow over the years to international acclaim, attracting our country's leaders and visitors from throughout the world. This week marks the 73rd Annual Texas Rose Festival with opening ceremonies on Wednesday.

Joan Hallmark, Reporting.


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