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In the 89 years since its inception, Tyler’s annual Texas Rose Festival has been suspended only twice: during World War II and in 2020, the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. Held the third weekend of October, the celebration includes a parade and the crowning of a debutante-style queen, whose custom gown is bedecked with crystals and jewels and features a long train that alone can take months to construct. The festivities continue to be a major draw to this area, which once grew more than half the country’s supply of rosebushes. (While still an industry powerhouse, it’s now better known for processing the blooms, mostly from other states, than producing them.) But there’s more to the self-proclaimed Rose Capital of the World than its…
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