"I've been watching it ever since I can remember, and since my family's been involved it's just been part of my life," she said in an interview this summer. "It's just so exciting to be able to participate in it."
Miss Anderson, the daughter of Rowe and Betty Anderson, was selected last November by the Texas Rose Festival President Tim Alexander.
"Mr. Alexander came over to my house and formally asked me," Miss Anderson said. "I couldn't believe it. I was shocked and just extremely excited. I couldn't wait to get started with everything."
Miss Anderson will be a sophomore at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in the fall. She is majoring in public relations and is a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
She is a graduate of All Saints Episcopal School. While in high school, Miss Anderson was on the cheerleading squad and was an avid competitive dancer. She also found time to volunteer with PATH and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Her mother, Betty Anderson, describes Haley as bubbly, thoughtful, compassionate and responsible, and said Haley is excited about her role in this year's festival.
"It's a responsibility that she takes very seriously, but she is also having fun with it," Mrs. Anderson said. "She is looking forward to representing Tyler by welcoming the out-of-towners and their guests.
Her personality will be wonderful for making them all feel welcome."
YEAR OF THE DRAGON
"I think a lot of people will enjoy watching it," she said.
The festival celebrates Tyler's history as a rose-growing and rose-processing region.
"Tyler is known as the rose capital of the world," Tim Alexander, president of the Texas Rose Festival, said. "I think that the rose festival has played a large part in contributing to that identity."
Besides the Coronation, festival favorites including the Texas Rose Festival Parade, the Queen's Tea and the Rose Show.
"The Rose Festival is all about celebrating the history and the heritage of Tyler," Alexander said. "We are excited about having a large number of participants this year. We will have a lot of people from all over the state coming to celebrate Tyler."
During the festival, one of Queen Haley's main responsibilities is to welcome the out-of-town duchesses to the Tyler area.
"I am going to represent Tyler well and make sure the out-of-town people will enjoy themselves, enjoy Tyler and just show them how great it is," she said. "The festival brings a lot of tourism to Tyler, and it's good for our economy. It shows people from out of town and other places how great our city is."
Since becoming queen, Haley has learned even more about the impact roses have on the Tyler economy as well as additional history about the festival, her mother said.
"She's really enjoyed learning more about the history," Mrs. Anderson said. "She's learned more about the history of the rose growers and the rose industry. She was really blown away once she found out the number of volunteers and people who put in so much hard work to bring this event alive for another wonderful year."
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Other family members who have been involved with the festival include her mother, Betty Anderson, who served as an attendant to Queen Mary Martha Fair in 1971 and served as a lady-in-waiting in 1979. Her aunt, Emily Gordon Gabriel, served as a lady-in-waiting and her uncle, Gus Allen Gordon, served as an escort. Her cousins, Mary Martha Fair, Virginia Rice Fair and Kay Elizabeth Fair all served as previous rose queens in the years 1971, 1978 and 1981 respectively.
"Haley and her family have been involved with the festival for many years," Alexander said. "They will do a wonderful job of representing the community and Tyler."