By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Lawn & Garden | Issue: May 2016
Sharon Atcheson is Chairman of Broken Arrow’s Bring Back the Roses Committee. Sharon extends a heartfelt invitation to area residents to support and enjoy the festivities and projects surrounding our City of Roses.
Unless you’re a longtime native of Broken Arrow, you’re probably wondering why all the recent fuss about roses. First it’s the naming of the Rose District , and now there’s been a lot of talk and planning about a Rose Committee, Rose Galas, Rose Festivals, plus Rose Art, Rose Photography and Rose Show contests. And there’s fundraising in the works for a proposed Rose Garden. Curious? Read on for information about Broken Arrow’s Rose legacy and our fond attachment to roses.
In 1922 a Broken Arrow Ledger-Democrat stated, “Perhaps no other town of its size in America can boast of as many rose gardens as Broken Arrow. Almost every home, whether it be humble or aristocratic has its own rose garden. There are roses of every kind, size and color…” The article suggested that residents give more time and care to their rose gardens and next spring advertise the City and our homes with a rose carnival. It was two years in the making, but in 1924 Broken Arrow did host their first Rose Carnival and it was hailed a great success. There were 45 exhibitors, 108 single rose entries, 72 bouquet entries and attendance was estimated to be over 600.
Broken Arrow had been established as “The City of Roses” and a sign was erected on North Main to greet everyone coming through town with the message, “Welcome to Broken Arrow, The City of Roses and Sparkling Spring Water.” Broken Arrow remains proud of our rose history and looks forward to building upon our inheritance.
Sharon Atcheson serves as Chairman of the Bring Back the Roses Committee, a sub-committee of Keep Broken Arrow Beautiful. On Saturday, May 21, 2016, Broken Arrow will host a Hometown Rose Show, celebrating our City of Roses. The event will be located at 1st Street & Dallas, one block east of Main Street. Categories include: 1) Rose Entry Contest featuring individual home-grown roses, 2) Rose Art Show, and 3) Rose Photography Contest. Events kick off at 8:00 a.m. and will conclude at 4:00 p.m. There will be 13 categories of roses and all entries are free. Cash prizes will be awarded to First Place Winners plus ribbons for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Honorable Mention in each of the three show categories. Rose judging will be from 11:00-12:00 and winners will then be announced. The Art and Photo contests are hosted by Your Design.
The Rose Festival will include a live band, children’s activities, Garden Club displays and Master Gardeners to answer questions.
Officially named the Jim and Peggy Nelson Commemorative Rose Garden, this spectacular acre plus garden will one day be located on the west end of Central Park at 1500 S. Main in Broken Arrow. Detailed landscaping plans are complete as well as a staged projection for its construction. Keep Broken Arrow Beautiful launched this project as a donation to our City. To date, it is being funded by donors at all levels, grant money and fund raising events. All donations are welcome from individuals, schools, organizations and businesses.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.
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