It's a first for the 78-year-old festival and a sign of times to come, Chris Jones, Rose Festival Parade president, said.
Expect more entertainment, a faster pace and plenty of polish — upgraded floats, more roses, fewer advertisements, no flat bed trailers, organizers said.
“We're trying to make the parade more professional so it flows better,” Jones said. “It's Tyler's parade. We want people to come out and go and leave saying, ‘That was the most awesome parade ever.'”
Spectators can expect exceptional music entertainment — Stephen F. Austin State University Lumberjack Marching Band, U.S. Army First Division Cavalry, 77th U.S. Army Band, Tyler Junior College Apache Band, Texas College Marching Band and musicians from every Tyler high school.
Some bands featured in the parade are expected to perform shows on the field at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
Admission to the stadium is $3 per person; curbside viewing is free.
There's a charge this year for tailgating in the area near Harvey Convention Center.
Booths will be set up throughout the area near the Rose Garden Center, the site of the Queen's Tea that starts shortly after the parade.
The parade route is the same, but the line-up is different. It starts with the rose queen and ends with the Ocean of Soul.
Sandwiched in between are about 120 attractions ranging from car clubs out of Dallas, to massive outpouring of Shriners, military veterans and the Wells Fargo stage coach.
Organizers expect the event to last about three hours, start to finish.