TYLER, Texas (KETK)- The 89th annual Texas Rose Festival is two weeks away. This year, The East Texas Hispanic community was formally invited to participate and showcase their culture and traditions.

“This year, Liz Ballard and I have been talking about probably three or four years that we need tribute floats. It’s not only for the Hispanic community, but also for the African American community, and people that want to get involved,” said initiator of the float Ginger Young.

Young, an immigration attorney with Flowers Davis since 2009, saw 2022 as the perfect opportunity to showcase Hispanic culture at the Texas Rose Parade.

“This year, my firm rather than sponsor the float for my daughter, said let’s do a Quincenera because the Quincenera tradition is so similar to what we do for our girls with the Rose Festival,” said Young. 

The Texas Rose Parade will feature a float, representing all 20 Latino countries and their native attire.

“There are 120 different entries in this Rose Parade. The girls will wear their Quincenera dresses and some girls have two or three. It’s totally their choice,” said Young. “We hope to mix the colors and sizes so it really gives a pretty view because I think the dresses are as unique as the girls, the family, and the community they represent.”

Attendees can expect to see a mariachi band, Aztec and Folklorico dancers, and a Tejano band.

“Young adults from different countries will be dressed in their traditional Folklorico dresses for each country. They will be holding flags so people can see which flags are for which country, not just that, but also groups of people representing their country will be there,” said Maria Quigata, whose daughter will be on the float. “We hope the public will enjoy the typical music and very much recognized in those countries like the Merengue and tango.”

Her daughter, Fabiola Carballo, said she is very proud to be representing her home country, Venezuela.

“The Rose Parade is a huge tradition of Tyler and I’m very proud to be Venezuelan. I hold it very dear to my heart,” said Carballo. “To be able to stand up there and represent all of my community and my country, I think is just an amazing opportunity. Every Venezuelan in every single part of the world are going to look and will say there’s still some good in my country left and that is her right there on that float.”

A lineup of over 40 East Texas Hispanic young women, are ready to make their debut. Local businesses were also able to help with the float.

Young said this is more than just about the dresses. Her hope is that this will bring unity to East Texas through traditional events.  

KETK is a local sponsor of the Texas Rose Festival. For the latest news and features on all the enchanting ceremonies, events and more, keep up with us on air, online and on our app.

The Texas Rose Festival began in 1933 and is steeped in tradition. To catch up on all the excitement, scan the QR code pictured here.