Many decades ago, local rose growers, members of the Tyler Garden Club and the Chamber of Commerce organized the first Tyler Rose Festival to focus attention on the importance of the rose industry to the city. The festival has been held annually ever since, aside from its suspension during the Second World War.
Most festival’s events are centered around the Rose Queen and her court. The court of the Rose Queen includes the Duchess of the Rose Growers, out-of-town duchesses and escorts, ladies in waiting, train bearers, scepter bearers, and attendants to the Queen. The Queen and her court are chosen by the president of the Texas Rose Festival Association, their families have generally been involved the festivals for many years.
The festival’s program features a number of ceremonial events such as the Queen’s Coronation, the Queen’s Tea, a Ladies’ Luncheon, a Men’s Luncheon, and the Rose Festival Parade. The Queen’s Tea is a free event hosted by the Queen’s family at the 14 acre Tyler Rose Garden. It gives an opportunity to meet the Queen and her court in their full coronation costumes.
The Coronation is an impressive theatrical ceremony that features gorgeous gowns, breathtaking staging and an intriguing story. It definitely is a must-see event for all attendees. But the festival’s main attraction is the Rose Festival Parade that features custom parade floats, bands, color guards, dance teams, car clubs, and dignitaries. The parade is held on the Saturday morning of the festival. It is free to watch it on the streets, but in order to be admitted into the stadium where it ends, you must buy a ticket.
There are also many other events and attractions such as a rose show that features several thousands of rose blooms, art exhibitions at the Tyler Rose Museum, gardening seminars, live concerts in the park, an arts and crafts fair, toy shows, a car show, and a number of private parties.
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