Rose Fest holds 'Queen's Tea' Thursday

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Released by Veronica Terres with the Texas Rose Festival Association:

TYLER, TX - The Queen's Tea is an annual event that is open to the public, free of charge. This year, the Tea is being referred to as the Rose Garden Party hosted by the Queen's mother, Ms. Nancy Ann Bracken and the Texas Rose Festival (represented by Mr. Christopher Shirley Simons) in honor of Queen Mary-Lawson Bracken Walden and her Court to celebrate the 77th Annual Texas Rose Festival.

The Queen's Tea will take place Thursday, October 14, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Tyler's Rose Garden located at 420 Rose Park Drive.

The Tea (Garden Party) is being held on a Thursday again this year, rather than the traditional Friday, due to the condensed Texas Rose Festival schedule.

The Texas Rose Festival is pleased to announce that for the second consecutive year, several Duchesses will be on display in full costume and available to meet during the Tea. These Duchesses will be seated at the Rose Show display, inside the Rose Garden Building.

The Queen's Garden Party is a grand celebration of The Texas Rose Festival and of Tyler with this year's theme, a "Tapestry of Blessings" setting the stage.

With 47 Bracken family members (including the 4 queens) participating in the court since its inception, The Rose Festival is a long proud tradition in the Bracken Family. This year is no exception as Miss Hallie Bracken West, cousin to Queen Mary-Lawson and this year's Duchess from San Antonio will share the Queen's Royal Tent for the Garden Party. The Royal Jester, young James Joseph "Trip" Fischer III, is also a cousin to the Queen.

The Tyler Court, Ladies in Waiting, the Duchess of the Rose and the Queen's Royal Attendants will be in their luxurious costumes seated traditionally in tents on the Queen's Lawn of the Rose Garden.

A very special "guest" will also be in attendance this year, Mary-Lawson's horse Caleb. Caleb's natural beauty amongst the majestic setting will add a whimsical presence to the fanciful affair. He too will be dressed for the occasion, donning a jeweled Royal Blanket that matches Queen Mary-Lawson's own costume. This is a piece she had commissioned specifically for her four-legged friend.

The Garden Party offers guests a first-time, in-person opportunity to view the magnificent collection of this year's Rose Festival costumes. The time and dedication to each of the jeweled, hand-sewn costumes is immense. Mary-Lawson's costume for instance, took five women and five months to hand-bead and create the extravagant dress and train.

Queen Mary-Lawson's family has deep roots in both East and South Texas. She has spent much of her youth exploring nature on her family ranches in both regions. Since East and South Texas are so much a part of her, the flora and fauna from both regions are represented in her Royal Costume and throughout the decor at her Garden Party.