Spring is here and celebrating the 127th blooming of the Tombstone Rose Tree with a parade and festival is one way to welcome the season. Tombstone will host its 2012 Tombstone Rose Festival Friday â€“ Sunday to show off the â€œsofter side of Tombstone history.â€
Tombstoneâ€™s Lady Banksia rose bush arrived from Scotland in 1885 as a gift for a homesick bride. The cutting grew into the worldâ€™s largest rose bush now covering 9,000 square feet with its foliage and producing millions of blossoms.
The festival will kick off at 6 p.m. Friday, with the Tombstone Vigilettes crowning the Rose Queen and her court under the rose tree. The public is invited.
Saturday activities include: a pancake breakfast, 7 a.m. in the Tombstone Community Church at 2nd and Allen Streets; music with Mariachi Apache from Nogales, 10:30 a.m. at the Allen Street Stage between 5th and 4th Streets; old fashioned lunch-box auction, 11:30 a.m. at the Allen Street Stage between 5th and 4th Streets; parade with Fort Huachucaâ€™s 62nd Army Band and B Troop, 4th Regiment, U.S. Cavalry (Memorial) at 1 p.m. along Allen Street; and folkloric dancers from Douglas, 3 p.m. at the Allen Street Stage.
The Tombstone Restoration Commission will host a round-table discussion with descendants of Tombstone pioneer families at 4:30 p.m. in the Tombstone Community Church at 2nd and Allen Streets.
New this year will be a student â€œArt in the Parkâ€ presented by Cochise County students, sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, Post 24, in partnership with the Tombstone High School Future Business Leaders of America. It begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday in the City Park, 3rd Street and Allen.
People and pets can join the Tombstone Small Animal Shelter Pet Parade at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. For information or registration, call the Tombstone Small Animal Shelter, 1.520.457.2545 or go to http://bit.ly/2012pp.
There is never an admission fee to visit historic Tombstone. For more information about the festival, call the Rose Tree Museum, 1.520.457.3326, email Rose_Festival@msn.com or go to www.tombstoneweb.com.