The smell of roses was literally in the air at the annual “Everything's Coming Up Roses” luncheon at Willow Brook Country Club Wednesday.
The aroma came from the small bouquets of purple, red, white and pink roses that adorned the tables at the event, hosted by Friends of the Rose.
Texas Rose Festival Queen Haley Anderson, Duchess of the Texas Rose Festival Joy Ramey, ladies-in-waiting and their mothers were joined by festival volunteers and Friends of the Rose members at the event.
Jill Howard, with Friends of the Rose, welcomed guests to the luncheon, which she said signifies the start of the summer rehearsal season for members of the Queen's Court.
Festival participants will spend this week practicing in preparation for the Texas Rose Festival Oct. 18-21 in Tyler. The theme of this year's festival will be “Indochene: Year of the Dragon,” a celebration of all things Asia.
After welcoming guests to the event, Ms. Howard explained the purpose of Friends of the Rose.
“It was organized to foster enthusiasm for the lovely rose and the Texas Rose Festival,” she said. “And to remember those whose labor and vision made this celebration a Tyler tradition.”
Former Duchesses of the Rose Growers Sylvia Jones and Callie Worthen presented gifts to guests.
Friends of the Rose is sponsored by local businesses including Chamblee's Rose Nursery, Hand Rose Farms, Hand Wholesale Nurseries, Jernigan Lone Star Realty, LaTeeDa Flowers, Lone Star Rose Nursery Inc., Mea Nursery, Nix Roses, Ran-Pro Farms, Regions Bank, Rose Country Tractor, Roses USA, Tate Rose Nursery and the Zorn Family.
Individual members include former festival participants, friends and family of those in the rose industry and rose enthusiasts, Ms. Howard said.
For more information about this year's Texas Rose Festival, visit www.texasrosefestival.net.