Since the Texas Rose Festival's humble beginnings, roses have run rampant in the Ramey family. This year, Joy Lynn Ramey will serve as the Duchess of the Texas Rose Festival, continuing her family's tradition and celebration of Tyler beauty.
“The festival is special to me because my family has played such a big part in it, so it's special to be a part of that legacy,” she said. “I'm the fourth generation to be a part of it. It's exciting to be included in something that is so unique to our city.”
Her roots go back to the very start of the Rose Festival as her great-grandfather contributed to its founding and served as the first president of the festival. Since then, her family has remained active participants.
“Everyone in my family has been involved from my grandmother and grandfather all the way down to all my cousins,” she said. “We've all had a role in the Rose Festival somehow and serving the community.”
Miss Ramey herself has already served in past festivals in different ways. She has lent herself to the backstage of the coronation for many years and has helped out with practices in the summer as well as volunteered at Tyler Rose Museum on numerous occasions.
Graduating from Grace Community School, Miss Ramey was an avid dancer at Dance-N-Drill studio for 16 years as well as a member of the Grace Cougarettes drill team in high school, rounding off her senior year as a Dance Captain.
Now, she is a proud Baylor University bear and is an active member of her sorority, Pi Beta Phi. As a fashion merchandising major, her career aspirations are to work for a magazine or a company like J. Crew or Neiman Marcus.
Her laid-back but elegant personality radiated as she explained her enthusiasm for the upcoming festivities that are less than four months away. She said the theme, “Indochine,” should attract the public and live up to the high expectations that are set to complement the beauty of Tyler's unique niche: the rose.
“It's a celebration of Asia, and I think it parallels our celebration in Tyler and the gift of the rose we have,” she said.
While the details of the much-anticipated costumes are usually kept under-wraps from the public until the fall, Miss Ramey is certain this year's collection will not disappoint.
“It's a very fun, exotic theme, so I'm sure all of the costumes are going to be amazing and very creative,” she said.
As Duchess of the Texas Rose Festival, Miss Ramey's role is to promote the rose industry of Tyler as well as stand as an ambassador for the city and show just how special it is, she said.
“We're so blessed to have this rose industry and have all these roses grown in Tyler,” she said. “It's really been great for our city and everything it brings in.”
One of her favorite aspects of the entire concept is the community involvement. She loves that everyone can participate in some way.
“I like it in that it is so open to the city, and everyone can come and everyone's invited,” she said. “It's exciting to see the community join in and get involved.”