Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose {Part II}

The Queen's Coronation
Let me set the scene for you....
A small east Texas town. 
85 degrees on a sunny, October, Friday afternoon.
Three friends sitting on warm, metal bleachers with about 50 other people, all locals.
120 yards of green, high school football field turf spread out in front of us.
In rolls a 1965 Plymouth roadster convertible.  There's a young, pretty girl wearing a white prom dress sitting atop the backseat waving at the small crowd.
The car, followed by three more cars each bearing three more girls, comes to a stop.  All of the girls are escorted out of the cars to stand upon a makeshift stage set on the field.
Within the next 30 minutes the girl in white is given a sash with glittering letters stating she is the Rose Queen, a small, but respectful, rhinestone tiara to crown her coiffed curls and a bouquet of red roses is placed in her arms.
That is what I expected.
{Year of the Dragon}
So. Very. Wrong.
{shot on the sly- photos weren't allowed during the Coronation}
For starters, there wasn't a high school football field anywhere to be seen.  It was held in the Cowan Fine & Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Texas at Tyler.
And all 2000 seats were occupied.
And I was very under dressed in jeans and converse tennis.
{India- Lotus ~ India- Bengal Tiger ~ India- Maharani}
The Tyler Rose Festival, now known as the Texas Rose Festival, began in 1933 by a group of ladies who were members of the town garden club.
Over the years the festival has grown and become more elaborate with events to entertain, such as the Rose Show, a parade, the Queen's Tea and The Queen's Coronation.
{you can read more about the festival here and here}
{India- Saffron ~ Japan- Camellia Japonica ~ India- Kathmandu}
The queen and her court are all chosen from families who are and have been involved in the festival for years and they play a big part in the four days of rose celebrations.
{Japan- Satsuma ~ China- Cloisonne ~ Japan- Madame Monet's Kimono}
Each year the festival has a theme-
this year's was Indochine- Year of the Dragon.
{Southeast Asia- Bali Hai ~ Japan- Black Pearl ~ Duchess of the Texas Rose Festival- Madame Butterfly}
The Coronation was a three hour pageant which began in Asia Minor and traveled through India, Southeast Asia, Japan and China. 
Ending with the presentation and coronation of the queen {the Empress of China} by the president of the festival.
{Southeast Asia- Temple of the Emerald Buddha ~ Southeast Asia- Angkor Wat ~ India- Diwali} 
The costuming done for this was fantastic.
Cheryl and I had a running commentary going throughout.
And thankfully, I don't think it bothered anyone around us, as others were doing it too.
The two girls next to me were doing as much oohing and ahhing and discussing of the fabrics as we.
Silks, brocades, laces, sequins, braid, fringe, applique, embroidery, beads, stones and jewels.
Every costume sparkled and glittered and threw off rainbows in every direction.
{China- Blue Canton ~ Japan- Cherry Blossom ~ Southeast Asia- Anna and the King}
The queen's 16 foot long, 7 foot wide, hand applied bead, sequin, stone and jeweled train and the 14-karat gold, hand created jewel flowered crown were the, well, they were the "crowning glory" of the whole show.
{Japan- Samurai ~ Southeast Asia- Thousand Hands ~ China- Chinese New Year}
When it was over all I wanted to do was go home, play dress-up and make crowns and head pieces.
{Queen of the Texas Rose Festival- Empress of China}
{Unfortunately, I didn't get a single shot of the queen that is worth showing.
But here's a glimpse of her from the program.}
I can not wait for next year.
PS. I don't know what's up with these photos.  They were nice and clear before I uploaded them.
I keep fiddling with them, but to no avail.  Oh, well.  Blogger wins this one.


Lorrie Orr said...

Those are sensational costumes. All the ornamentation must have taken hours and hours to create. Just beautiful.

Cheryl Carey Bass said...

LOVE. Love the writing, love the pictures, love the art of it all.

You should be their spokesperson. Who wouldn't want to go after seeing your post. I think yours is better than their website. Maybe you should write for the website. They could use your help!

The Junque Seeker said...

Thank you so much for sharing! What an amazing pageant. I had no idea, but will have to check into this for next year.

Monica said...

Oh my gosh! What a wondrous event! Loove the colors! And love your writing also. So much.

Dorthe said...

What a spectacular show, Alisa,
must habe been a fantastic experience,to be there.
Great to be "invited" to share your words and photoes.

Robin Thomas said...

I had no idea about this. I think I might need to invite myself to your next road trip to this!