Texas Rose Festival Parade features float to celebrate Hispanic Heritage

In three weeks, more than 60 girls in the East Texas Hispanic community will be a part of the parade and festivities.
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 11:25 AM CDT

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - New this year to the Texas Rose Festival Parade is a customized tribute float. It celebrates the East Texas Hispanic community and honors the Quinceañera tradition.

In three weeks, more than 60 girls in the East Texas Hispanic community will be a part of the parade and festivities. For parade participant Ruby Sanchez, it’s nice to have representation in such a large Tyler tradition.

“Every year you hear somebody talking about, ‘here comes the Rose Parade,’ and now we get more representation, and that’s just something so great,” she said.

Ginger Young is the mother of Princess Olivia and has a law firm who, in partnership with local businesses, has been able to make this custom tribute float possible.

“One thing that I realized, what we do as a mom of a court member, for my kiddo, is not so dissimilar to what the Hispanic families do for their Quinceañeras,” Young said. “It’s about family, it’s about community, it’s about friends, it’s about our kids growing up. So, I loved that juxtaposition.”

Young said the float focuses on the Quinceañera tradition, the transition of a 15-year-old girl into womanhood. 20 countries of Hispanic heritage will be represented, six girls will be on the float, and more than 50 others will be in carriages, on horses and walking alongside one another.

“We have one Tejano band, and we have two Mariachis, we have Azteca dancers, and we have two Folklorico dancers,” Young added.

Kayla Maya will be in the parade and said, “Just a beautiful moment, I love it. I get to show off my culture, my everything. It’s a really proud moment for me.”

Clark Hampe is the President of Strutters Organization. They are in charge of putting on parades every year. He’s half Hispanic and said this means a lot to him personally.

“The parade already creates a sense of community in Tyler and to make sure that inclusiveness carries over to new groups and allows them to participate in the parade...it’s a super thing for the City of Tyler and the community as a whole,” Hampe said.

The mission of the Rose Festival is to promote Tyler and Smith County, tourism, economic growth and volunteerism. Texas Rose Festival Executive Director Liz Ballard said, “We love to have everybody. We’re so grateful to have you all join us this year, and start the relationship, and know that we love volunteers and let’s just grow it as we go,” Ballard said.

The parade kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at Glenwood Boulevard and Front Street in Tyler. The day also happens to be the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month.