Rose Festival to bloom in State Center

TIMES-REPUBLICAN

STATE CENTER – The community of State Center stakes its claim as the Rose Capital of Iowa every year during the Rose Festival. This year’s festival runs from Thursday through Sunday.

“It’s a key part of our identity,” said State Center Mayor Harlan Quick. “In and around Iowa, people know State Center for the Rose Festival.”

This year’s festival is again chaired by Joan Postel. Postel has led the event for the past nine years, and she said she has wonderful and dedicated volunteers to work with again.

“The town is starting to buzz about it,” Postel said.

A special dedication ceremony for the new stage at the Rose Garden will be held at 7 p.m. Friday prior to the Rose Queen coronation.

“It’s beautiful and a great addition to the Rose Garden,” Postel said.

The 2013 Rose Queen candidates are Jennifer Davis, Tara Gravish, Alyssa Milliizer, Cassidy Sellers and Brandy Wilkey. Also selected that night will be the Little Ms. Rose Bud and, new this year, will be Little Mr. Rose Bud.

“I think that will be fun,” Postel said.

Country group Stampede will perform Friday night, which will also be a highlight, according to Postel.

The big parade will roll through town beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday. Grand marshal of the parade this year is Don Lane. Lane is a former State Center resident now living in Marshalltown.

“He was very instrumental in getting the Rose Garden started,” Postel said.

The parade is one of several events taking place throughout the day Saturday. The annual fireworks show will shoot off at dusk Saturday.

The festival wraps up Sunday with the truck and tractor pull from 1 to 5 p.m. at West Marshall High School.

“Last year, we brought the truck pull back and it was really well-received,” Postel said.