Texas Rose Festival
The Texas Rose Festival, a three-day event held annually in Tyler, Texas, celebrates the role of the rose-growing industry in the local economy. The festivities, taking place during the third weekend of October, draw thousands of tourists to the city each year.
The first Tyler Rose Festival was organized by Tyler Garden Club members, local rose growers and the Chamber of Commerce in October 1933 for the purpose of focusing attention on the importance of the rose industry to Tyler, and to showcase the towns elegance; it was renamed the Texas Rose Festival during the Texas Centennial in 1936. Aside from the festival's suspension during World War II, it has been an annual event.
The Rose Queen and her court
Many of the festival's events center on the Rose Queen and her court, who wear lavish gowns and costumes that are often in keeping with the theme of the year's festival. These participants generally come from wealthy backgrounds and often have long family histories with the festival; many have played various roles in the events since childhood. The queen and her court are chosen by the President of the Texas Rose Festival Association who works in the organization for 4 years before taking on the role as President.
In addition to the Rose Queen, the court includes:
- The Duchess of the Rose Growers, a member of a rose-growing family selected by and representing the Texas Rose Growers Association.
- Out-of-town duchesses and escorts, sponsored by a family involved in the Rose Festival and invited because of relationships with Tyler residents.
- Ladies in waiting, a select group of young women from Tyler, in their sophomore year of college, whose families have been involved in the festival for several years.
- Train bearers, scepter bearers and attendants to the queen, usually elementary-school-aged children whose families are involved in the festival.
The 81st Texas Rose Festival was held on October 16 - 19, 2014, with "Cirque De La Rose" as its theme.
Kathryn Elizabeth Peltier, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Peltier, will reign as Queen of the 2014 Texas Rose Festival. Kathryn is a student at the University of Texas at Austin.
Past Rose Queens include:
Rose Festival events
Rose Festival events open to the public generally include:
- A Vespers service, held at the home church of the reigning Rose Queen
- The Queen's Tea, in which the public is invited to mingle with the Rose Queen and her court at the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden
- A Men's Luncheon and a Ladies' Luncheon, featuring guest speakers
- Queen's Coronation ceremonies
- The Rose Festival Parade, featuring floats, bands and a number of community groups
- A Rose Show and gardening seminars
- The Rose Festival Arts and crafts Show at Tyler's Rose Garden.
There are also many other events such as an art show; a car show; doll, bear and toy shows; an arts and crafts fair; and symphony concerts in the park.
The Rose Parade is easily the biggest part of the Rose Festival. This parade takes place on the Saturday morning of the festival, and starts on Fifth St. and travels down Erwin to the Rose Stadium where it ends. It is free to watch the parade on the streets, but you must buy a ticket to be admitted into the shaded side of the stadium.
A number of private parties also coincide with the festival, including the Queen's Coronation Ball hosted by the Order of the Rose.
- Official Texas Rose Festival site
- Stories on the 2005 festival, from the Tyler Morning Telegraph
- Brief article and bibliography, from the Handbook of Texas Online