You've heard your entire life that Pasadena, California, is the undisputed Rose Capital of the United States, after all, that's where the Rose Bowl is staged, and the famous Rose Parade is held each New Year Day. Well, if you guessed Pasadena as the Rose capital, then you're wrong. Tyler, Texas, has held the title of Rose Capital of America - since 1933. And one visit to this pristine community on the edge of the Texas piney woods will convince you the claim is well founded.
Every year in celebration of the title the Texas Rose Festival is staged at the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden and gala events and spectacles are held all throughout this beautiful East Texas city.
The 2006 Texas Rose Festival is set for Oct. 19 - 22 this year and brings to life a world that is thousands of years old. “Mythology: An Enchanted Odyssey” promises to provide a delightful journey of fantasy filled with adventure, magic and mystery at the 73rd annual Texas Rose Festival.
The annual themed event this year will encompass myths and tales of legend that have inspired and entertained us for thousands of years. Now these myths come to life through the beauty of roses in parade floats, rose shows, art work, music and the famous jeweled gowns of the Queen and her court.
The Coronation event provides an evening of enchantment as the majesty of mythology and the wonders of the human spirit are portrayed in costume.
While the Coronation is the most prestigious event of the festival there are many other notable events held for visitors to enjoy, including the continuous rose show and its many activities at the Municipal Rose Garden.
The Queens' tea is an elaborate garden party for the entire community to enjoy, where you can see the Queen and her court in their full festival regalia - a sight to see! The Palette of Roses art show is breathtaking and there are organized tours available to many area rose nurseries.
The most popular event, however, is the annual Rose Parade to be held Sat., Oct. 21, featuring over 100 entries of some of the most beautiful parade floats in the nation.
While the festival is only a four day event honoring the city's history and its successful rose industry, the remainder of the year is dedicated to supplying the nation with over 20% of it's commercially grown roses. These roses are grown in Smith County nurseries and well over half of the nation's rose bushes are packaged and shipped from here.
In Tyler, roses can be found in most every space - public and private. The mild temperatures of the region are perfect for growing roses and the city seems to be in bloom most of the year.
Founded in 1847, Tyler was named in honor of John Tyler, the 10th President of the United States and architect of Texas' annexation into the Union. Tyler grew as a trading center and by the time of the Civil War, had become an important city. The historic downtown area boasts numerous shops and restaurants lining the brick paved streets. With Victorian-style residential and commercial architecture all throughout the community and real sense of community pride, the charm of the city, and its notoriously friendly people, are extremely contagious. These "Keepers of the Rose" are profoundly proud of their rose heritage, and its demonstrated in their commitment and tribute to the delicate flower.
The Tyler Municipal Rose Garden and Museum are the star attractions of the city. This 22 acre municipal garden is the nation's largest. It contains over 38,000 rose bushes representing 500 varieties in its magnificently landscaped compound. The facility includes several test gardens where new varieties are studied, a Heritage Rose and Sensory Garden which features antique rose varieties dating back to the 1800s, and a Memorial Garden with camellias and day lilies. The Rose Museum tells the history of Tyler's rose industry through its many multimedia displays and educational exhibits. And then there is of course the annual Rose Festival that brings all this wonderful history and beauty into focus. Don't miss it, Oct. 19 - 22 in Tyler, Texas, the Rose Capital of America.
You can learn more about the festival and the rose industry in general at the Tyler Rose Museum.