The Texas Rose Festival, a celebration of the area's history of growing roses and its love affair with the rose, begins this week. With the theme Cirque de la Rose, expect plenty of pageantry and circus-inspired thrills.
The events range from the Rose Queen's Coronation, the lavish ceremony in which the rose queen and her court are formally presented on a beautiful stage to the music of an orchestra, to the Rose Parade, a cavalcade of bands, street performers and floats adorned with roses.
Here is a guide to the 2014 Texas Rose Festival.
ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The Texas Rose Festival Association coordinates the behind-the-scenes efforts of hundreds of volunteers.
The association's officers are: Preston L. Smith, president; Harold K. Bertram, executive vice president of the Coronation; Kenneth J. Waits, vice president of rose activities; Raymond W. Cozby III, vice president of the Distinguished Men's Luncheon; Brad Curtis, treasurer; and Fred Haberle, president of Strutters. They work with Katherine Reynolds, administrative assistant, and Liz Ballard, executive director.
Kathryn Elizabeth Peltier, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert James Peltier, of Tyler, will preside as the queen of the Texas Rose Festival. She attends The University of Texas at Austin. As the festival queen, she will be featured in the Queen's Coronation, the Rose Parade and Queen's Tea. She also serves as an ambassador for the city of Tyler and the rose-growing industry.
DUCHESS OF THE TEXAS ROSE FESTIVAL
The duchess of the Texas Rose Festival is Kathleen Sinclair Bertram, the daughter of Mr. and Harold Kenneth Bertram, of Tyler. She attends the University of Oklahoma, where she studies social work.
Thirteen young women from Tyler families serve as the ladies-in-waiting in the rose queen coronation court.
The ladies-in-waiting are: Catherine Elizabeth Anderson, daughter of Mary Holland Zorn; Katarina Maksimovic-Vukelja Anderson, daughter of Drs. Lawrence Anderson and Svetislava Vukelja; Lucille Annie Bates, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Barrie David Bates; Kaitlyn Elizabeth Boone, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffery Dale Boone and Mr. and Mrs. Jeffery Scott Keith; Emma Louise Brookshire, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Tim Brookshire Sr., Lauren Rachal Brown, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Loren Dale Bennett, of Tyler, and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Scott Brown, of Houston; Hanna Elizabeth Clarke, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brian Kirch Clarke; and Rachel Alexandra Cooper, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Paul Cooper.
Also: Kathryn Louise Loggins, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lesley Ray Loggins and Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Merrill Cooper; Mary Guyton McKellar, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard G. McKellar; Marilyn SarahAnn McKellar, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Denning Key and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Guyton McKellar; Laura Frances Meads, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Byron Alexander Meads; Mary-Lauren Shelton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Bonner Shelton.
The children who are serving as the attendants to the rose queen are: Emmy Elizabeth Brewer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brady Brewer; Harris Kelley Brownlow, son of Mr. and Mrs. Casey Brownlow; Cline Chloe Jacqueline Cavender, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clay Cavender, Olivia Grace Kerr, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Riter Kerr, Claire Bergfeld Lofquist, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Barry Lofquist; Stephen Jack Mizer Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Mizer; and Kylan Grace Wedell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lamar Wedell.
OTHER COURT MEMBERS
Also included in the queen's court are out-of-duchesses, young women from other areas, as well as the escorts to the women in the court.
The festival opens with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. on Thursday at the Rose Garden Center. This also will mark the opening of the Rose Show, a vignette in Rose Garden Center featuring more than 14,000 roses. The Rose Show, which is free, will be on view from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Oct. 19.
The Strutters, the volunteer organization that stages the Rose Parade, will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a free concert at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Bergfeld Park amphitheater. The concert will feature blues singer Edwin Holt and his band. Holt lives in Tyler and is a member of the Strutters.
The highlight of the festival on Friday is the Queen's Coronation. The ceremony will culminate with entrance of Rose Queen Peltier in her gown and train. She will be declared queen of the festival by Association President Smith.
The theatrical presentation, complete with a huge set, live orchestral music and the women of the court wearing imaginative circus-themed gowns, will take place on the stage of the Cowan Center at The University of Texas at Tyler.
The matinee is set for 2 p.m., and the evening performance is set for 7 p.m. Tickets are available through the Cowan Center box office.
On Saturday, the Rose Parade steps off at 9 a.m. at Glenwood and Front streets and follows a route west on Front Street and then through the East Texas State Fairgrounds. It ends inside Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. There will be a pre-parade show inside the stadium that also begins at 9 a.m.
The parade will feature more than 120 entries, including the rose queen and members of her court riding atop floats. Viewing along the route is free. There will be an admission for seating on the west side of Rose Stadium.
The Queen's Tea will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday in the Municipal Rose Garden. The queen, duchess of the rose festival and ladies-in-waiting will be positioned under pavilions in the garden and the out-of-town duchesses will be inside the Rose Garden Center. All will be there to meet festival visitors and pose for photographs. The tea is a free event hosted by the queen's family and the Texas Rose Festival Association.
Saturday also marks the opening of the Rose Festival Arts and Crafts Sale & Plant Sale in Bergfeld Park. The sale will take place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and on Oct. 19.
The Palette of Roses Art League each year holds its annual juried fall show in conjunction with the festival. The paintings will be on view from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday in Tyler Civic Theatre Center's Braithwaite Theater at 400 Rose Park Drive, located just north of Rose Garden Center.
For the first time, the American Rose Society is holding its national convention and rose show in conjunction with the festival. Its rose display, featuring roses in artistic arrangements, will be on view 1 to 5 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday in Rose Garden Center.
Chamblee Rose Nursery on U.S. Highway 69, north of Tyler, will offer guided tours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tours and special presentations are set throughout the day on Friday and Saturday at the Rose Garden.
In 1933, during the height of the Great Depression, Tyler civic leaders created what was then the Tyler Rose Festival to showcase Tyler's rose industry. At the time, Smith County was one of largest producers of rose bushes in the nation.
From the earliest years, the celebration included the Queen's Coronation, a display of roses and a parade. The festival quickly grew in popularity.
Throughout the years, the Texas Rose Festival has played host to dignitaries, first ladies and even future presidents.
Last year, the festival attracted 52,000 visitors and helped pump in about $2.5 million to the economy, according to information from the Tyler Convention and Visitors Bureau.