Organizers Make Final Touches As Festival Rose Festival Opens
By COSHANDRA DILLARD
Against a backdrop of fragrant rose bushes and an intricately adorned English medieval castle, Texas Rose Festival organizers Thursday officially kicked off this year's events at the Tyler Rose Garden Center.
|Schedule Of Events|
LADIES' BRUNCH: The 2011 Ladies' Luncheon will feature Jenna Bush Hager as the guest speaker. The Luncheon is set at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Crosswalk Conference Center at Green Acres Baptist Church. Tickets are $50.
MEN'S LUNCHEON: The luncheon is scheduled at 11:30 a.m. at the Rose Garden Center. Speaker is Kenneth Winston “Ken” Starr, president of Baylor University. Tickets are $50.
CORONATION MATINEE: The matinee performance of Queen Morgan Rippy's coronation is scheduled at 3 p.m. at the Cowan Center. Tickets are required.
CORONATION: The coronation of the rose queen is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. at the Cowan Center. Tickets are required; call the Cowan Center Box Office, 903-566-7424.
ROSE PARADE: The parade begins at 9 a.m. and will proceed west from Glenwood Boulevard and Front Street to Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. Stadium admission is $3, and admission along the parade route is free.
QUEEN'S TEA: “A Midsummer Night's Dream” is scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Tyler Rose Garden, 420 Rose Park Drive. The tea, which is free and open to the public, provides the opportunity for festival visitors to meet Queen Morgan and members of the royal court in their costumes in a festive outdoor setting.
For more ticket information, call the Cowan Center box office at 903-566-7424 or visit www.texasrosefestival.com. The R. Don Cowan Center for Fine & Performing Arts is located on The University of Texas at Tyler campus, 3900 University Blvd., Tyler.
Flanked by Rose Festival officials, Duchess Virginia Winston Anderson, escorts and her nine attendants, Queen Morgan Elizabeth Rippy cut the ceremonial ribbon. It was all about the rose and it was on display, courtesy of David Austin Roses, who is internationally known for his floral design and shows.
With the help of rose arrangers, volunteers transformed the garden center into a magical landscape, representing "A Grand Illusion," this year's theme.
Texas Rose Festival president Tom Ramey and vice president of the Rose Show committee Randall Grooms capitalized on Tyler's "coveted brand."
"For 78 years, we as a community have come together at challenging times and during good times to celebrate what is unique about Tyler, Texas," Ramey said.
Throughout the opening event, organizers explained the importance of community service and the change of course in which the festival has undergone.
An emphasis has been placed on revving up the parade and attracting the entire community to all festival events.
"If any year you were going to a parade, this is the year," Ramey said. "You're going to want to check this thing out."
He added, "We desire that everyone in Tyler, from every corner and every segment of the community to find at least one activity to join us in the celebration."
Miss Rippy hopes her imprint on the evolving community event is one that represents service, not glitz.
"I want everyone to know it's not about the dresses," Miss Rippy said following the ceremony. "I want them to understand the true meaning of the Rose Festival."
Leading into the ceremony's prayer service, Ramey encouraged the audience to pray for Tyler and to become involved in the community.
Texas Rose Festival events will continue through Saturday. The coronation will be held at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday at the R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center on the campus of The University of Texas at Tyler. Tickets range from $15 to $65. The Rose Parade begins at 9 a.m., west of Glenwood Boulevard and Front Street, continuing to the Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. Admission is $3 at the stadium, but free along the parade route.
The queen's tea is 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden. The palette of Roses Art Show runs until 5 p.m. Saturday at the East Texas Fairgrounds Mayfair Building. Admission is free.