Outdoor enthusiasts, exploring the great state of Texas in late autumn, should not miss out on the Tyler, Texas Rose Festival. The four-day event held annually, celebrates the vital role of the rose-growing industry in the Texas economy. The festivities, taking place during the third weekend of October, attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the city each year.
Rose Festival Parade
A Texas tradition, the Rose Festival begins with the annual Rose Parade that features balloons, breath-taking rose-adorned floats, school marching bands and drill teams. The highlight of the parade, the float that carries the Rose Festival Royalty, is festooned with thousands of rose petals in every conceivable shade of white, yellow, orange, red and pink. The Queen of The Rose Festival, and her court, are chosen by the President of the Texas Rose Festival Association based on their family's involvement, commitment and financial sponsorship of the gala celebration. The first Rose Festival and parade, organized by the members of the Tyler Garden Club, local rose growers and the Chamber of Commerce, was held in October 1933. The annual celebration, originally called the East Texas Rose Festival, was renamed during the Texas Centennial in 1936. The colorful parade takes place on the Saturday morning of the celebration. It begins on Fifth St. and travels down Erwin to the Rose Stadium where it ends. Tickets for the Texas Rose Festival are available at www.texasrosefestival.com.
United States Largest Municipal Rose Garden
The magnificent beauty and enticing aroma of hundreds of thousands roses. covering hundreds of acres, attracts visitors from around the world. The Rose Museum presents 40,000 rose bushes and nearly 550 different varieties of roses. The Rose Show features artful displays of roses growing in the lovingly manicured beds of the Rose Garden and displays of prized roses submitted for competition. A Tyler rose, given to Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, now grows in the White House Rose Garden. Over 300 Tyler roses grace the grounds of the Texas state capitol in Austin. The 14 acre Municipal Rose Garden has gained both nationwide and worldwide acclaim, catering to the interests of horticulturists and home gardeners. Since its opening in 1952, the Rose garden has functioned as both a trial garden for testing new rose varieties and as a showcase for outstanding floral displays. The one-acre Heritage Rose and Sensory Garden proudly displays heirloom rose varieties that date back to 1867.
Roses Impact The Tyler Economy
Tyler produces about 20 percent of the nation's commercial rose bushes. Less than fifty commercial rose growers produce approximately 10 million rose bushes annually. Tyler roses are well known for their vigor, color and use in ornamental landscaping of both cottage and urban gardens. The rose-growing industry in Texas commenced during the late 1800s in Smith County near Tyler. 1879 marked the first recorded sale of rose plants. Full scaled commercial production began in the early 1900s. In 1917, the first train carload was shipped.