TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Colorful floats, precision marching bands, clowns, cars, and, of course, glittering dresses made the 86th annual Texas Rose Festival Parade a feast for the eyes and ears.
As ever, the “star” of the parade was the Rose Queen herself, this year in the person of Hanna Claire Waits, along with the Rose Festival Princess Elizabeth Anne Schoenbrun and Rose Festival Duchess Alexis Renee Smith.
This year, the festival had the theme “Portraits of Inspiration.”
Waits, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Scott Waits, attends The University of Oklahoma and is a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
Schoenbrun is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Mano Schoenbrun. She attends The University of Arkansas and is a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority.
Smith attends The University of Texas at Tyler and is a member of the Delta Gamma sorority. She is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Sam Burton and Mr. & Mrs. Aaron Smith.
The Queen and her court were dressed in shimmering splendor by the festival’s designer of 37 years, Winn Morton. Morton, who is retiring this year, designs the pieces from head to toe and relies on costuming teams in Dallas and San Antonio to bring those designs to life.
As the name implies, the Texas Rose Festival celebrates roses and Tyler’s thriving industry of growing the glorious blooms. This year, the Tyler Rose Garden has officially been recognized as a national treasure.
The Rose Festival began in 1933 to focus attention on the importance of the industry to Tyler’s economy and culture. It draws thousands of tourists to the city each year and provides an important boost to the local economy.
First organized as the Tyler Rose Festival, it was renamed the Texas Rose Festival during the state’s centennial celebration in 1936. It is overseen by the Texas Rose Festival Association.