Texas Rose Festival Queen Kathryn Elizabeth Peltier will be immersed in a virtual circus during the queen's tea — an annual tradition that allows her to be up close and personal with festival attendees.

Organizers of the tea this year capitalized on the theme, Cirque de la Rose, as three-dimensional animal figures and cheerful vestiges of the circus will be dotted through the Tyler Rose Garden.

"It's going to be really colorful, just like a circus," said Beth Whitney, co-chairman of the Queen's Tea, which is set from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday.

The queen's pavilion will be a five-peaked square structure lined with blue and white striped fabric featuring a gold accent stripe and a circular bubble motif.

The Peltier family has roots in Louisiana, and they'll pay homage to that heritage with the fleur de lis, which will be seen on each peak of the queen's pavilion.

"She really had a specific vision that will give it a fun, whimsical feel," Ms. Whitney said of the queen's mother, Mary K. Peltier.

Inside the pavilion, the ceiling will resemble an antique carrousel. Pictures of the queen, her family and pet, along with birds and other animal scenes, will be depicted.

Of course, rose blooms will be an integral part of the displays, with two large mixed shades of pink roses flanking the queen's chair.

The queen's train will be raised six feet and held by a three-dimensional jaguar and lion mounted on pedestals.

Duchess of the Texas Rose Festival Kathleen Bertram also will be flanked by mixed shades of pink roses in another pavilion. The ladies-in-waiting will be housed in antique-themed circus wagons.

"Where the ladies-in-waiting are going to be featured, it's never been done that way before," Ms. Whitney said. "They're just darling, and it really adds to the circus fantasy that we're creating."

The center court food station holds the centerpiece: A three-dimensional tiger trainer will stand in a bed of roses 9 feet in the air while holding a hoop with a tiger passing through it.

Refreshments will include Tyler-based Sister2Sister Cookies. The second set of food stations feature 4-foot-tall blue and white striped popcorn boxes.

Riley Harris Construction and Raymond Krueger, of Jerry's Flowers, will build the scene at the Tyler Rose Garden.

A committee of 16 women and men, along with some high school seniors are volunteering to bring the event together.

Guests at the Queen's Tea may scan the 14-acre Rose Garden during the festival, showcasing more than 35,000 rose bushes. The garden is maintained by the city of Tyler and supported by donations of rose bushes from rose growers.



At the entrance to the Rose Museum, guests will be welcomed by the fragrant assortment of about 7,500 roses. The Rose Show — a prominent display throughout the Rose Festival — also stays true to the circus theme, with a mix of bright colors.

A life-size bear, Bengal tiger and lion will create a Big Top atmosphere. An old-fashioned popcorn machine and a few of the duchesses add to the show.

"I think it'll be really bright and fun," said Melissa Jackson, Rose Show chairman. "It'll appeal to the young at heart. I hope that all of the visitors feel that excitement coming to see all of the roses in blossom, and want to come back for years to come."

The massive rose display will require about 25 volunteers to construct this week.

At the end of the festival, student volunteers will collect the blooms and give them to local retirement center residents.

Visitors can view the Rose Show during museum hours Thursday through Sunday.

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