Kathryn Elizabeth Peltier, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert James Peltier, will preside as queen over the 2014 Texas Rose Festival, featuring the theme “Cirque de la Rose,” TRF Board President Preston Smith announced during a news conference Thursday at the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden Center.
Kathleen Sinclair Bertram, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Kenneth Bertram, will serve as duchess of the rose growers, he said.
Miss Peltier, 19, attends the University of Texas at Austin and Miss Bertram, 19, attends the University of Oklahoma.
Miss Peltier said it was an honor to be selected as the 2014 Rose Queen and taking part in the festivities was a dream she’s had since childhood.
“I remember, as a little girl, admiring all the ladies in waiting and the queen and thinking how exciting all of it was, and how much fun they looked like they were having,” she said. “At that point, I began to hope that maybe, one day, that would happen to me too.”
Miss Peltier said the festival is much more than girls wearing pretty dresses.
“It’s about our community, and what we take pride in — and that is truly an experience of its own,” she said.
Miss Peltier thanked her parents for allowing her the privilege, and Smith for choosing her as this year’s queen. She also commended festival workers, volunteers and community members.
“I cannot wait to share this experience with not only my family but some of my lifelong friends, with the anticipation of making new friends,” she said. “At the end of it all, I hope that together we will make wonderful lifelong memories that we may share, and I look forward to an exciting full year of fun.”
Miss Bertram said the rose festival is a rich tradition that began in 1933 and has embodied a sense of pride within the community, and she, too, considered it a great honor to be part of it this year.
“As I represent the community of Tyler, I also continue a family tradition of participating in the Texas Rose Festival,” she said. “Now it is my turn to embrace this legacy of being an ambassador for the Tyler community, rose industry and The Texas Rose Festival. I am excited as I anticipate serving the community.”
Miss Bertram also thanked her family and Smith for the opportunity, and called all in attendance “true friends” of The Texas Rose Festival.
After the announcement, members of the court and their families attended the 22nd annual Winter Gala, benefiting the Tyler Rose Museum. The museum is a nonprofit organization built solely on private donations. Since it opened in 1992, it has had more than 300,000 visitors.
Lonny Uzzell, Tyler Rose Museum board president, said the purpose of Thursday night was to showcase the rich history and tradition of Tyler, the rose industry and the rose festival.
He said the museum was the dream of Bart Fair, and a special group of people made it a reality in 1992.
“Because of the hard work of so many, the museum proudly tells many of the hardships and successes of the rose-growing industry and the pageantry of the rose festival,” he said.
Smith also spoke to attendees on the importance of the rose industry in Tyler and the Tyler Rose Museum.
“We’re here tonight to support the Tyler roses …” he told the crowd. “The museum does an incredible job of documenting Tyler’s long heritage in the rose industry. And seeing as though we’re the rose capital of the nation, it’s my opinion, it’s very important to support this organization.”
Smith said Tyler will produce about one-fifth of the nation’s rose bushes, while the city processes three-fourths of the nation’s rose bushes. Producers believe the economic impact of the rose industry in Tyler is more than $25 million annually, he said.
“This is something Tyler can truly be proud of,” Smith said.
The ladies-in-waiting, who will serve in the 2014 Texas Rose Festival, also were announced Friday.
Members of the Tyler Court are Miss Katarina Maksimovic-Vukelja Anderson, daughter of Dr. Lawrence Anderson and Dr. Svetislava Vukelja; Miss Lucille Annie Bates, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Barrie David Bates; Miss Hanna Elizabeth Clarke, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brian Clarke; Miss Rachel Alexandra Cooper, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Paul Cooper; Miss Sarah Ann McKellar, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tom McKellar and Mr. and Mrs. Denning Key; Miss Mary Guyton McKellar, daughter of Mr. Richard and Dr. Heidi McKellar; Miss Mary-Lauren Shelton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Bonner Shelton; Miss Kaitlyn Elizabeth Boone, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffery Dale Boone and Mr. and Mrs. Jeffery Scott Keith; Miss Emma Louise Brookshire, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tim Brookshire; Miss Lauren Rachael Brown, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Loren Dale Bennett; Miss Kathryn Louise Loggins, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lesley Ray Loggins and Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Merrill Cooper; and Miss Laura Frances Meads, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Byron Alexander Meads.
The queen’s attendants for the 2014 festival are Miss Emmy Elizabeth Brewer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brady Brewer; Master Harris Kelley Brownlow, son of Mrs. and Mrs. Casey Barlow; Miss Cline Chloe Jacqueline Cavender, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clay Cavender; Miss Olivia Grace Kerr, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Riter Kerr; Miss Claire Bergfeld Lofquist, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Barry Lofquist; Master Stephen Jack Mizer, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Mizer; and Miss Kylan Grace Wedell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lamar Wedell.
Officers and executive committee members for the 2014 festival are Smith, president; Hal Bertram, executive vice president of coronation; Ken Waits, vice president of rose activities; Ray Cozby, vice president of men’s luncheon; Brad Curtis, treasurer; Katherine Reynolds, administrative assistant; Fred Haberle, Strutters president; and Julie Dawson, executive director.