TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The countdown to the 86th annual Rose Festival starts now. Every year, thousands come to the city for excitement and Tyler’s history. KETK is your official station for the parade, an event for all ages.
The celebration kicked off Friday night at the Willow Brook Country Club.
“Over a hundred thousand people are attracted to our great city of Tyler each year, as we continue to celebrate this 86th year tradition,” said Britt Brookshire during the festival’s kick-off event.
It’s the largest tourism event in Tyler, attracting thousands to learn about the city’s history and the rose-growing industry.
“Since the beginning of the year, I have really enjoyed promoting the rich history of the Texas Rose Festival and the impact it has had on East Texas community,” says Hanna Waits, the 2019 Rose Festival Queen.
This year, the Festival Queen, along with the Princess and Duchess kicked off the celebration.
“Getting to represent my family, and getting close to the girls, and just making a lot of memories and having fun,” says Alexis Smith, the 2019 Rose Festival Duchess.
This is a tradition dating back to 1933, representing how the city of Tyler comes together as a community.
This year’s theme is “Portraits of Inspiration”.
“I think it’s just about all the inspirational women before us that have done great things and I love that we are honoring them,” explains Elizabeth Schoenbrun, the 2019 Rose Festival Princess.
The parade will feature custom floats for the queen and her court.
“It’s been a really big blessing and an honor and I love being an ambassador for the city of Tyler, it’s cool,” says Waits.
You can already smell the roses, as this year’s event kicks-off.