Two Iowa towns hold tulip festivals every year, but the state has only one celebration devoted to the rose.

The Marshall County town of State Center opened its 64th annual Rose Festival Thursday.
Buffi Honeck, the event’s chairperson, says one of today’s (Friday) highlights is the Rose Queen Talent and Pageant.

“We have five ladies vying for that title of the 2022 Rose Queen,” Honeck says, “and then at 7 o’clock out on the Rose Garden, we’ll find out who wins, so that’s always a big gathering down there.” Honeck says there’s a full slate of events planned for Saturday.

“We’ve got the Grand Parade at 10 am. We’ve got the classic car show from 11 to 2,” she says. “We’ve got bingo. We’ve got a kids zone where there’s face painting and the Blank Park Zoo comes and does some programs, a kiddie tractor pull for the older kids. We’ve got the rides down at the elementary school that run all day.”

Other items of interest include a quilt show, live music, and fireworks, while the events will wrap up on Sunday. “There’s a church service and then our fire department puts on water ball fights,” Honeck says. “It looks like it’s supposed to be about 100 degrees, so those water ball fights will feel really good on Sunday afternoon.” There’s also a golf tournament, a co-ed slow pitch tourney, a barbeque contest and a bags competition.

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(By Brent Wiethorn, KFJB, Marshalltown)