Texas Rose Festival returns after COVID-19 caused 2020 cancellation

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 12:31 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 14, 2021 at 6:35 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The 88th annual Texas Rose Festival officially kicked off today with a ribbon cutting ceremony ahead of the weekend’s events.

‘Secrets of the Garden’ is this year’s theme for the Texas Rose Festival. An exquisite display of garden-themed pieces paired with rose blooms sat throughout the lobby of the Rose Garden Center Thursday morning for the ribbon cutting.

“This is our opening ceremony for all of the festivities that we have coming up. We have tomorrow, our coronation. And Saturday we have our parade and our Queen’s Tea and we’re just looking forward to a great time,” said Liz Ballard, the executive director for the festival.

The mission of the festival is to promote tourism, celebrate volunteerism and honor the legacy that the rose industry has in the community. At today’s ceremony Mayor Don Warren read a proclamation, people spoke and there was music.

Debra Hammons was today’s vocalist and said she grew up coming to the Rose Festival.

“I did pick out the song. Well, I should say it was from the holy spirit and the song was, ‘What a Wonderful World’ and it is a wonderful world, and a beautiful place to live is Tyler, Texas.”

Texas Rose Festival Queen Anna Hallmark said it’s surreal that the weekend is finally here.

“It’s crazy to me that it’s actually happening, it’s so exciting. It’s real, it’s happening tomorrow and Saturday. I’m still coming to terms that it’s actually going to happen, but I’m excited,” Hallmark said.

Hallmark and the court have a busy next few days and she hopes people can come to the events.

“Definitely come because we haven’t had it for two years and I think it’s going to be amazing,” Hallmark said. “I think the community, it’s good, we needed it. We haven’t had it in so long, I think it’s a good way to bring everyone together.”

For more information on the festival events visit their website.

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