Roses are red, skies are blue

STATE CENTER – “Peace, love and roses” were in the air in State Center Saturday morning for the second day of the 55th Annual Rose Festival.

The parade kicked events off at 10 a.m. on Main Street and included 99 entries this year. People started lining the streets before 9 a.m. to reserve prime spots along the parade route.

Parade emcee Jamie Dee said each year the parade and the Rose Festival gets bigger and bigger and people keep coming to the festival.

“Just in the last 10 years this has grown to be one of the biggest in the state,” she said. “A lot of people have come out.”

Lyle Airey, of Albion, said he has been coming to the parade and the Rose Festival for a long time and he says he likes to come just because State Center has a nice group of people.

“It’s a nice parade; I like it all,” he said.

Saturday’s activities included a queen contestant rib-eating contest, barbecue competition, the annual West Marshall baseball and softball tournaments and a street dance. Fireworks concluded Saturday’s festivities.

Stephanie Ricken, of Marshalltown, said she was having the time of her life at the 55th Annual Rose Festival.

“It’s great coming here; I just love spending time with my friends here every year,” she said.

Storms that passed through central Iowa Friday night forced some activities to be moved indoors, but the rain held off most of the day Saturday for the Rose Festival.

The festival continues through Sunday with a breakfast at the Lincoln Valley Golf Course club house from 8 to 11 a.m., a community church service at the Rose Garden at 9 a.m. and the Midwest Truck Pull from 1 to 5 p.m. at the West Marshall High School.

Wristbands will also be available at Next Generation Carnival rides from noon to 3 p.m. for unlimited access to the rides.