Mary Lawson Bracken Walden Named Rose Queen
By JOYCE TURNER
Mary Lawson Bracken Walden, daughter of Nancy Bracken and Lawson Walden, will reign as queen of the 2010 Texas Rose Festival, featuring the theme, "Tyler -- Tapestry of Blessings," TRF President Chris Simons announced during during a news conference at the Tyler Rose Museum on Saturday evening.
Laura Stacy Ramey, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Ramey III, is the 2010 duchess of the Texas Rose Festival, he said.
Simons made the announcements before the 18th annual Winter Gala, the annual fundraiser for the Tyler Rose Museum.
"This gala is held in conjunction with the announcement of this year's Rose Queen, her Tyler court and the unveiling of the theme of this year's Texas Rose Festival," said Lonny Uzzell, president of the Board of Directors for the Tyler Rose Museum.
Miss Walden said she is "humbled and honored" to represent Tyler as the 2010 Rose Queen.
"All of my life I've always looked up to the rose queen, and I can't believe that this year it is actually me. The Rose Festival has always been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I am so excited to get the chance to be so heavily involved in it."
Miss Walden said her family has been active in the Rose Festival through the years, "with as many as 47 members and going back as far as 1937."
"So this position is very special, and it means a lot to my family and I," she said.
Miss Walden's great-grandfather, J.A. Bracken, settled in Tyler in 1927, she said.
"Most of my family was either born here, or has grown up here, so Tyler is a very special place to me. Although Tyler isn't the biggest town in Texas, it is one of the most unique -- and a wonderful place that we are blessed to enjoy," she said.
Miss Ramey said she is "honored and thrilled beyond words" to serve as the 2010 duchess of the Texas Rose Festival.
"I am particularly excited about the 2010 Texas Rose Festival, as we celebrate the things, the attributes, the events, the blessings that have made Tyler, Texas, one of the greatest cities in America -- the blessings that have made Tyler unique in all the world," Miss Ramey said.
This year's coronation will be "toe-tapping" entertaining, incredibly insightful and packed with the unexpected," Miss Ramey said. "My hunch is that you will be thoroughly entertained and struck with amazement at how this city, this place, has been awesomely blessed. It's truly a world-class story."
Simons said the 77th Texas Rose Festival is scheduled for Oct. 14-16.
"If anyone has a factual story about a person, organization or event that has greatly impacted Tyler, we want to hear from you," Simons said. "This could include anyone and everyone. You can e-mail your 'Tapestry' tale to firstname.lastname@example.org
. For every validated story we receive, we have a very special acknowledgement."
Simons also announced the 2010 ladies in waiting and royal attendants to the queen.
Ladies in waiting are Claudia Lauren Bowen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chris Bowen; Victoria Price Calhoun, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Galloway Calhoun III; Carlie Elizabeth Castagno, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kent Castagno; Abigail Kathleen Clarke, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brian Clarke; Casey Ann Davis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Davis; Chelsea Elizabeth Dickerson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Craig Dickerson; Carolyn McCall Gilpin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Russell Gilpin and Mr. and Mrs. Mark Spencer; Kaylan Elizabeth Hagan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Ferguson and Mr. and Mrs. Mark Hagan; Maggi Anne Jones, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Jesse Jones; Andrea Brooke Lowden, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Lowden; Holly Michelle Robertson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Greg Robertson; and Mallory Jane Robinson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dave Robinson.
Royal attendants to the queen are Emily Kate Berry and Erin Louise Berry, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Bret Berry; Laura Elaine Bryan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Bryan; Tripp Fischer, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.J. Fischer; Lily Ann Hightower, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rusty Hightower; and William Copeland Landes, son of Mr. and Mrs. Drew Landes.
Gala Committee members were Holly Burke, chairman; Liz Ballard, Chalease Denson, Ginger Haberle, Claudia Long and Heather Pickett.