2009 Texas Rose Festival To Be Grand Event
By JOYCE TURNER
The 2009 Texas Rose Festival, "Celebrations & Grandeur," promises to be a showcase of special events and spectacular costumes, featuring the coronation performances of Rose Queen Emily Anne Austin and her court.
Queen Emily, daughter of Holly McIntire Austin and Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Austin III, will reign over the festivities. Members of her court are Duchess of the Rose Growers Callie Elaine Worthen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Worthen, ladies-in-waiting, out-of-town duchesses, escorts and royal attendants.
However, this year's schedule will be different from past years.
TRF Executive Director Julie Ischy said the Queen's Tea "is being held on Thursday, rather than the usual Friday, due to the condensed Texas Rose Festival schedule."
Other differences include a Morning Prayer Service as part of Thursday's opening ceremonies at the Rose Garden Center, instead of the usual Wednesday evening vespers dedication service. Also, there will be a coronation matinee and evening performance, but only on Friday at the R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center.
The Texas Rose Festival helps pump more than $2 million into the area economy each year, according to data from the Tyler Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The CVB estimates that last year almost 90,000 people attended the coronation ceremony, parade, Queen's Tea and many other events. Of the 90,000, about 50,000 were out-of-town tourists. About 1,000 were here as part of group travel packages, the CVB's annual report said.
Visitors and residents spent an estimated $2,270,633 in Tyler while attending events.
The report said about 1,423 people stayed in lodging in Tyler during the festival.
The Texas Department of Economic Development calculates that a person who attends an event as part of a day trip spends about $40 per day at the destination site and that a person who stays in lodging spends about $100 per day.
Compared to 2007, attendance and economic impact were up. Each year, the CVB examines hotel bookings, guest books at events and surveys to calculate the economic impact.THURSDAY RIBBON CUTTING
The Rose Festival officially gets underway when Queen Emily and TRF President Brad Brookshire cut the ceremonial ribbon at 10 a.m. in the atrium of the Tyler Rose Garden Center, 420 Rose Park Drive. The ceremony will take place in front of the Rose Show, a display of more than 14,000 rose blooms. Miss Worthen, along with the queen's attendants, will be on hand.MORNING PRAYER SERVICE
The service is part of the opening ceremony and is set at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Tyler Rose Garden Center atrium. The Rev. Kirkland "Skully" Knight, chaplain for All Saints Episcopal School, will officiate and Blynn Austin, the queen's sister, will read scripture. All Saints Episcopal School Choir is scheduled to perform.PALETTE OF ROSES ART SHOW
The 57th Annual Palette of Roses Art Show is scheduled Thursday through Saturday at the Mayfair Building on the East Texas State Fairgrounds. Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Rose Garden Center, Rose Festival dignitaries will open the Palette of Roses Art Show with a second ribbon-cutting ceremony. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and immediately following the Rose Parade until 4 p.m. Saturday. Event is free. For information, call 903-839-0955 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
TYLER ROSE MUSEUM
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 420 Rose Park Drive. The show features a thousand dozen roses, plus a contemporary exhibit with video highlights of previous Rose Festivals. For information, call 903-597-3130, extension 11, or e-mail email@example.com
VISITORS INFORMATION CENTER
The museum, which opened in 1992, is home to memorabilia, lavish costumes and historic photos that preserve the history of the rose industry and pay homage to the festival. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 420 Rose Park Drive. A ticket is required. For information, call 903-597-3130, extension 13, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
ROSE GARDEN TOUR
The center is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Rose Garden Center, 420 Rose Park Drive. For information, call 800-235-5712, extension 229, or e-mail email@example.com
ROSE NURSERY TOURS
Free tours of the Rose Garden are scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. Friday by the Tyler Parks and Recreation Department. For information, call 903-531-1213 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The free tours are available at 1 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, but an appointment is necessary. Group tours are welcome. For information, call 800-235-5712, extension 229, or e-mail email@example.com
The annual Queen's Tea, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday at the Tyler Rose Garden. The tea provides the opportunity for festival visitors to meet Queen Emily and members of the royal court in their costumes in a festive outdoor setting. Refreshments of cookies and punch will be served.FRIDAY LADIES BRUNCH
Texas' First Lady Anita Perry will be the guest speaker at the Ladies' Brunch, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Friday at Hollytree Country Club. Advance tickets are required and must be purchased at the Cowan Center Box office, 903-566-7424, or at www.texasrosefestival.com
. Cost is $40.
Brad Sham, a longtime radio sportscaster of Dallas Cowboys games, will be the speaker at the Texas Rose Festival Men's Luncheon. The luncheon is set for 11 a.m. Friday at the Rose Garden Center. Tickets cost $40 and can be purchased at the Cowan Center Box Office, 903-566-7424, or at the door, payable by credit card.CORONATION PERFORMANCES
The coronation matinee is set for 2 p.m. and the evening coronation performance begins at 7:30 p.m. at the R. Don Cowan Fine & Performing Arts Center, 3900 University Blvd. Doors will open one hour ahead of performances.
SATURDAY ROSE PARADE
The theme of the coronation is "Celebrations & Grandeur," and the lavish production will feature the presentation of Queen Emily and her court. Blues entertainer Edwin Holt will perform at both events. Tickets may be purchased at the Cowan Box Office, 903-566-7424 or at the Web site www.texasrosefestival.com
. Ticket prices may be found on the Web site and range from $20 to $60, depending on the performance and the seat chosen.
ARTS &CRAFTS FAIR
Pre-parade activities begin at 9 a.m. in Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. The Rose Parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of West Front Street and South Glenwood. Tickets for the west side of the stadium are $10 with seat backs; $7 for no seat backs; and $5 for senior citizens. Admission is free on the east side of the stadium. Tickets are available by calling the Cowan Center Box Office at 903-566-7424 or online at www.texasrosefestival.com
. Tickets also will be available on parade day for cash only.
The Texas Rose Festival Arts & Crafts Fair will be held on Saturday and Sunday in the Tyler Rose Garden. Held in conjunction with Texas Rose Festival, the fair is scheduled to feature more than 40 vendors offering hand-crafted items for sale, including jewelry, candles, clothes, pottery, florals, paintings and more, organizers said. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.