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Theme, queen and court announced for 85th Texas Rose Festival

Tyler Morning Telegraph, Texas — By: Augusta Robinson, Augustarobinson@tylerpaper.Com Tyler Morning Telegraph, Texas

Jan. 11--Amanda Elaine Hiles, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Todd Matthew Hiles, will preside as queen over the 85th Texas Rose Festival, which will follow a "Rock the Rose" theme.

Festival Board President Brad Curtis made the announcement at a news conference Thursday at Willow Brook Country Club.

Ann Caswell Ferguson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Winston Ferguson Jr., will serve as this year's duchess of the Texas Rose Festival, Curtis also announced.

Miss Hiles, 19, attends Tyler Junior College and Miss Ferguson, 18, attends Baylor University.

Miss Hiles said she is extremely grateful to serve as queen of this year's festival.

"It is an absolute honor to be chosen as the 2018 Rose Queen," she said. "I am very humbled to represent the festival and the city of Tyler. My family has lived here over 100 years and we all love Tyler."

She added she hopes to be a great ambassador of Tyler and a positive role model for girls. Miss Hiles, an Apache Belle, will have ample opportunity over the next year to connect with residents and visitors.

"I (attend college) in Tyler so I'm available to do more volunteer work and support the community more because I'm here," she said. " Also, I'm super excited just to spread the word about TJC and Apache Belles. They are such a great school and a great organization."

Miss Hiles thanked her parents and her Nana and Grandy for their love and support.

Miss Ferguson was also very thankful to her own family for their support and is excited to serve as the 2018 Duchess.

"When children are little, most grandparents tell their grandchildren fairy tales," Miss Ferguson said. "Growing up, my grandmother told me stories of the Texas Rose Festival. My grandmother, aunt, sisters and father have all played roles in this celebration over the years, and I am so grateful to also have the opportunity to serve the city I love."

She added that she too hopes to be a great ambassador of the city.

This year's nine ladies-in-waiting and seven attendants to the queen also were introduced at the news conference.

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Queen Amanda Hiles speaks at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

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Duchess Ann Caswell Ferguson speaks at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

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Stacey Hiles helps an attendant with his boutonniere at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

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Attendants and ladies in waiting at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

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Texas Rose Festival President Brad Curtis speaks at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

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Britt Brookshire announces this year's theme at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

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Two women reveal a poster with this year's theme at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

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Ladies in waiting are announced at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

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Attendants are announced at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

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A poster with this year's theme at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

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Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala 2018

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Queen Amanda Hiles speaks at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Duchess Ann Caswell Ferguson speaks at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Stacey Hiles helps an attendant with his boutonniere at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Attendants and ladies in waiting at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Texas Rose Festival President Brad Curtis speaks at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Britt Brookshire announces this year's theme at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Two women reveal a poster with this year's theme at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Ladies in waiting are announced at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Attendants are announced at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

A poster with this year's theme at the Texas Rose Festival Winter Gala at the Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The theme for the 85th annual Texas Rose Festival is "Rock the Rose." (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

After the announcements, members of the court and their families attended the annual Winter Gala, which honored 1968 Rose Queen Louise Spence Griffeth and benefited the Tyler Rose Museum.

The Rose Museum is a nonprofit organization and was constructed solely with private donations. It's purpose is to showcase the history and tradition of Tyler, the rose industry and Texas Rose Festival.

This year's festival will take place Oct. 18-21.

Ladies-in-waiting who will serve in the festival include:

-- Annabelle Dossett Deen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick James Deen Sr.

-- Macie Marie Sage Jones, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Peerson Jones III

-- Elizabeth Reid Laine, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Anthony Laine

-- Hanna Louise Maynard, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Neal Wayne Maynard

-- Kenzi Madison Payne, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Kyle Dale Payne

-- Madeline Leigh Roberts, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Mark Darin Roberts

-- Autumn Elizabeth Lundy, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. David Carroll Lundy

-- Alexis Blair Terry, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Don Terry

-- Mary Catherine Wallace, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Wallace.

The queen's attendants are:

-- Frank Anderson Abell, son of Mr. and Mrs. James E. Abell

-- Emma Jane Feldman, daughter of Dr. Ashley W. Feldman and Mr. John A. Feldman

-- Caroline Grace Key, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William O. Key Jr.

-- Cecilia Frances McCain, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Clayton McCain

-- Gavin Ryder Pierce, son of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Damian Pierce

-- Sloane Winifred Tefteller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Allen Tefteller

-- Samuel Eugene Walters, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Shane Walters.

TWITTER:@TMT_Augusta

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