There are a lot of great fall getaways in the Lone Star State but perhaps none that smell better than Tyler's Texas Rose Festival.
Northeast Texas comes alive in the middle of October with a mix of the maturing rose crop and the annual changing of the leaves fall foilage which reaches its peak just before November arrives.
The Tyler Rose Garden is the official headquarters to this major state festival, but the gala is celebrated widely all acoss historic Tyler. There's the annual Rose parade, the coronation of the Rose Queen and her court, assorted other tours, celebrations and rose-oriented mixers involving both community and the Rose Festival and Museum directors, who been hard at work for months preparing for the grand event.
The 2005 Texas Rose Festival is scheduled this year October 11-16th and marks the 72nd annual festival staged in this unique Texas city, located east of Dallas about halfway to Shreveport and the Louisiana state line.
Tyler has been called the Rose Capital of America, and one visit to this prisitne community on the edge of the Texaspiney woods will convince you the claim is well founded. Tyler produces about 20% of America's commercially grown roses. Roses, in fact, are found in most every space in the city, public and private.The mild temperatures of the region are perfect for growing roses and the city seems to be in bloom most anytime of the year.
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.
The Texas Rose Festival blossomed into existence in the city of Tyler in 1933. Inspired by a new agricultural industry and the beauty of the rose, civic-minded leaders and ladies of the Tyler Garden Club created the Texas Rose Festival to promote the rose industry, build tourism, celebrate volunteerism, and instill community pride.
Rose growing in Tyler began on a small scale around the turn of the century after a plague wiped out the area's peach crops. Rose plantings increased each year, and business boomed. Only rose bushes were harvested, leaving billions of blooms in the fields to die.
The festival also includes It now includes an art show; a car show; doll, bear and toy shows; an arts and crafts fair; and symphony concerts in the park.