This dress, completely covered with fresh rose blooms, was worn in the 1934 Festival Photo courtesy Texas Rose Festival
Texas Rose Festival:
A Legacy of Roses
The Texas Rose Festival blossomed into
existence in the city of Tyler in 1933. Inspired by a new
agricultural industry and the beauty of the rose, civic-minded
leaders and ladies of the Tyler Garden Club created the Texas
Rose Festival to promote the rose industry, build tourism,
celebrate volunteerism, and instill community pride. The
four-day festival offers enchanting ceremonial events: the
Queen's Coronation, the Rose Show, the Queen's Tea, and the
Rose Parade, all amidst a backdrop of brilliant roses.
Rose growing in Tyler began on a small scale around
the turn of the century after a plague wiped out the area's peach
crops. Rose plantings increased each year, and business boomed.
Only rose bushes were harvested, leaving billions of blooms in the
fields to die. A ready market was found for this "byproduct."
Visitors to the 1933 Tyler Rose Festival were treated
to a grand ceremonial coronation, presented in the style of an
operetta. The festival's floral parade showcased rose-covered
floats built by artisans for merchants and clubs. Airplanes
sprinkled rose pedals over the entire parade route. Over the years,
the annual festival, held the third weekend of October, has grown
much larger. It now includes an art show; a car show; doll, bear
and toy shows; an arts and crafts fair; and symphony concerts in
Tyler roses have also become famous. In 1968, Tyler
"Apache Belle" roses were given to Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, which
now grow in the White House rose garden. A garden of 300 Tyler rose
bushes was located adjacent to the Texas state capitol in
This well documented legacy includes a 33-page
report, more than 30 photographs,nine coronation programs, a video,
posters, postcards, newspaper clippings, a golden anniversary book,
and a picture book about Tyler.
Originally submitted by: Ralph M. Hall, Representative (4th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.