A Holstein cow had gotten loose in the streets of Toledo as the Cheese Days parade came through town. Photo By: Patrick L. Myers
Toledo has just undergone its celebration of Cheese Days, and the weather was just right for the occasion. The day was cloudy and not too hot, yet not raining, perfect conditions to have a parade. After the all you can eat pancake breakfast, the town was prepared to celebrate and when the parade was all said and done, the town rejoiced for grilled cheeses, just as they did 95 years ago on the first Cheese Days.
Toledo has been celebrating Cheese Days since June of 1920, the year after shippers to the newly constructed Cowlitz Valley Cheese Association gathered at the association's building to receive their first checks.
In anticipation of the event, the president of the association prepared coffee and grilled cheese sandwiches from some of the first products of the company. The shippers and the association had such a pleasant time that the board of directors decided to make the affair an annual happening, to be shared with the public. It was decided that the site for Cheese Days would be "Day's Grove," a picnic area that was located in the back of the present day Toledo Middle School. The first Cheese Days was much like the present days, with a baseball game scheduled, a dance platform put up, a carnival brought into town, and tables spread with whole cheeses to be accessed at whim.
During World War II Cheese Days was put to a halt, but in 1948 the Toledo Lions Club revived it, and it is they who hold it to this day.
The Toledo Cheese Days holds several events and the list of winners is still coming in. This week we provide you with the winners of the Tennis Tournament. Parade winners and others will be posted as we receive them.
Toledo Cheese Days Tennis Tournament, ran July 9 -12 and had 24 participants in both singles and doubles play. Listed are the first and second place winners for each class:
Men's Singles 6-4, 6-3 1st J. Vander Stoep, Adna 2nd Dean Schwickerath, Olympia
Men's Doubles 6-4, 6-4 1st Barry Rinehart, Centralia & Samuel Thomas, Montesano 2nd Gary Klein, Chehalis & Derrick McKay, Kennewick