Annual Rose Festival Now Encompasses More To Draw Tourists
|A SEASON OF ROSE EVENTS|
|Texas Rose Festival|
* Oct. 14: Queen's Tea;
* Oct. 15: Coronation;
* Oct. 16: Parade
Rose Season Events
* Now through Nov. 28: Tyler Museum of Art exhibit: Laura and Dan Boeckman's Collection of Mexican Folk Art;
* Now through Oct. 23: Gallery Main Street exhibit: Human Expressions, Figures and Portraits;
* Now through Jan. 2: Tyler Museum of Art exhibit: L.O. Griffith, Painting the Texas Landscape;
* Saturday through Oct. 31: Moore Farms Fall U-Pick Pumpkin Patch and Cornfield Maze;
* Oct. 3 to 18: "Rose Festivals Gone By" Gown Exhibit at Prestige Estates; Rose Tea will be held Oct. 5;
* Saturday and Oct. 9, 16, 23 and 30: Spirit/History Tours at the McClendon House;
* Oct. 5: "Turn Tyler Pink" The Pink Heals Tour in downtown;
* Oct. 8 and 9, 15 and 16, 22 and 23: Cottonbelt Railroad Historical Museum;
* Oct. 8 to 10 and Oct. 13 to 17: Tyler Civic Theatre Center shows "A Little Princess;"
* Saturday: Tyler Junior College Apache Belles perform at half-time at game against Blinn;
* Saturday: Festival on the Square Texas Music Downtown Concert Series;
* Saturday: Smith County Master Gardener Fall Conference & Bulb Sale;
* Oct. 10: The Tyler Rose Marathon, Half Marathon and Fit City 5K;
* Oct. 10 to 13: Roseland Plantation Afternoon Tea & Tour;
* Oct. 14: Guided Tours at the Tyler Rose Garden; tours of other gardens throughout the city are also available;
* Oct. 15 to 17, 22 to 24, 29 to 31: Four Winds Renaissance Faire, Haunts of Four Winds;
* Oct. 16: Kiepersol Estates Harvest Festival and Grape Stomp;
* Oct. 16: Rose Festival Arts & Crafts Fair and Plant Sale;
* Oct. 16: Tyler's Old Rose, Open House at the Goodman-LeGrand Museum;
* Oct. 23: Movie in the Park at Bergfeld Park.
* Oct. 15: "Old Garden Roses and Their Friends" by Smith County Master Gardeners Anne Brown and Dee Bishop;
* Oct. 15 and 16: "The Three Tree Ps: Planting, Pruning and Pampering," by Tyler TREES Committee; "Composting Made Easy" by Keep Tyler Beautiful; "Why EarthKind? How to Create Your Own Earth-Friendly Garden of Roses" by Mark Chamblee;
* Oct. 16: "All About Roses" by Craig Reiland, Tyler Rose Garden supervisor.
Texas Rose Horse Park
140782 Texas Highway 110 North
* Oct. 13 to 17: Fall Fun Hunter/Jumper Club;
* Oct. 23: ACTHA - Competitive Trail Horse Competition;
* Oct. 23 and 24: North Texas Hunter/Jumper Club; Wagon Wheel Hunter/Jumper Schooling Show; Cutting Horse Competition;
Tyler State Park
Farm-to-Market Road 14 North
* Saturday, and Oct. 16 and 23: Let's Go Birding!; Birding 101: Everybody's a Birder!; Feed the Snakes (PG Rated);
* Saturday and Oct. 23: Woodpeckers!;
* Oct. 16: Kids' Wilderness Survival; Wilderness Backpack
For times, locations, maps and more information on any of these events, visit: www.visittyler.com/roseseason.
By CASEY MURPHY
To address the "changing face of the rose industry" and bring more tourists to town in the weeks surrounding the Texas Rose Festival, a new committee has been busy this year.
The goal of the Rose Season Planning Committee is to broaden the scope of the festival into an entire rose season to appeal to more tourists, similar to the Azalea Trail attraction.
The idea came from city officials who, after last year's Texas Rose Festival, felt they could capitalize on more than just one weekend by spreading events over three weeks -- Oct. 8-24.
Tyler Communications Director Susan Guthrie and City Manager Mark McDaniel brought in a group of people to come up with ideas and formed the Rose Season Planning Committee.
The Texas Rose Festival remains the highlight and focus but the committee is working with a lot of local entities that already have events to tie them all into a nearly month long season.
"For us it's bringing it all together, marketing it all together …" she said.
Mark Chamblee, owner of Chamblee's Rose Nursery, said the Texas Rose Festival is an event that has been the same year after year. He said he appreciates the people on the committee who have come up with a really good exchange of ideas to "rejuvenate" the Texas Rose Festival and grow the entire rose season. He said the committee has achieved a lot in its first year and has even more ideas for next years' season.
Chamblee was brought in as an advisor to the committee to give members a point of view from a local rose grower and give input on his EarthKind roses.
Some of the events of the Rose Season include Turn Tyler Pink, the Spirit Tour at the McClendon House, the "Rose Festivals Gone By" Gown Exhibit at Prestige Estates, the Smith County Master Gardener Fall Conference & Bulb Sale and adding plant sales to the Rose Festival Arts & Crafts Fair. The Tyler Rose Horse Park and Tyler State Park are also holding events and horticulture workshops have been added to the lineup.
The Festival on the Square Texas Music concert was moved from September to Oct. 9 to correlate with the rose season events and the idea for the first marathon was borne out of the committee. Ms. Guthrie said one of their goals was to bring in a big sporting event during the season and after learning Lewis George wanted to start a full marathon here, the committee contacted him. The Festival on the Square is being held the night before the marathon in an effort to have tourists stay in town for more than a day.
"Our whole goal is don't come in for the day, come in and stay," Ms. Guthrie said, adding that they want to get "heads in beds."
Unguided rose tours will also be held throughout the city, at the Chamblee Rose Garden, the Sister Cities Rose Garden at City Hall, the Tyler Rose Garden and Lindsey Park. Locations will be available on a map and at each place, brochures will detail their history.
Gallery Main Street and the Tyler Museum of Art will have art shows and the Tyler Civic Theatre will have a play during the season.
And of course, the Texas Rose Festival will include a parade, coronation and Queen's Tea.
A lot of the events are not new but the committee is marketing them together to make more people want to come here for the entire weekend during the "broader rose season," Ms. Guthrie said. Not starting from scratch makes more sense strategically, she added.
This is the first step, Ms. Guthrie said. The committee plans to grow the idea more next year and will be doing things throughout the year. The committee also brings the Tyler Convention & Visitors Bureau and the city together and addresses the "changing face of the rose industry," she said.
Chamblee said the rose industry has changed over the years but it is still a really big part of Tyler commerce. The industry includes a lot of seasonal employers but there are plenty of businesses like his which operate year round and impact the local economy.
He said it would have been nice if the Rose Season Planning Committee would have formed a long time ago but it is good to see the right people coming together and getting involved.
"I think it's going to be great … to promote tourism in Tyler," Chamblee said.
The committee has held several meetings since last year's Texas Rose Festival. Primary members of the committee include, Ms. Guthrie; Chamblee; Debbie Isham, special events/recreation manager for the city of Tyler; Stephanie Rollings, Tyler Parks Director; Craig Reiland, Tyler Rose Garden supervisor; Keith Hanson, Smith County Master Gardeners; Chris Simons, Texas Rose Festival president; Julie Kidwell, Rose Festival executive director; Judith Guthrie, Tyler TREES Committee; and from the Tyler Convention & Visitors Bureau, Cindy Smoak, assistant vice president of SPORTyler, Shari Rickman, vice president of conventions, Susan Travis, convention/tourism coordinator and Justin Turner, vice president of tourism.