The 59th Annual Rose Festival

Held annually since 1958, the State Center Rose Festival celebrates the history and charm of our beautiful town and historic Rose Garden.  Nestled near the center of the state, our town is the perfect setting to be known as the “Rose Capitol of Iowa” and host to this tradition.  Each year during the third weekend in June, the town comes alive as current residents host those who have moved away, those who are just passing through, and anyone interested in a weekend full of fun, family-centered events.

Featuring a Grand Parade at 10:00 am on Saturday, the Rose Festival has something for everyone to indulge in throughout each day.  If you’re hungry, KCBS BBQ entrants cook up award-winning entrees for sampling on Friday night, food vendors serving an array of tastes fill our food court area, and other local stands complete the menu.  Kids and adults alike will love the new Extreme FunZone, smaller kiddies can enjoy the kid’s RoseZone on the library grounds where there’s always something ‘wild’ to explore, shoppers can browse through our main street stores and Festival Flea Market, adventurers should stay for the truck and tractor pull, or if you need a tranquil setting tour the aromatic Rose Garden.  Evenings are capped off with main events like the Rose Queen coronation pageant, live music, and an explosive fireworks show.  Reigning over the festivities are the Rose Queen and her Princess, along with Little Miss and Mr. Rosebud.

To learn more about State Center, we encourage you to visit our town’s website at

10 Responses to The 59th Annual Rose Festival

  1. Renee Hartwig says:

    I’m new to State Center and would like to get involved in the Rose Festival. Do you have any committees needing volunteers?


    • RoseFestival says:

      Good morning Renee!

      We would love to have new people on our board or to help volunteer. The board meets monthly, generally the first Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm down at Bailey’s Pizza on main street. The January meeting will likely end up being changed as I (chairman) will be out of town that day. If you are interested in attending, I can either get your email and add to our email list (you can email me directly at or watch our Rose Festival page on Facebook for updates (Iowa’s Rose Festival).

      Things are just starting to ramp up for planning events, so I can’t give any specifics yet on where we’d need your help, but we ALWAYS need volunteers both now in the planning as well as during the actual festival. Thanks for reaching out and looking forward to meeting you and having you get involved!

      Buffi Honeck


  2. Janice Gammon says:

    Do you have a 2017 entry form for the Grand Parade?


  3. Andrea Halbloom says:

    Is there a theme for this year’s Rose Festival?


    • RoseFestival says:


      This year we will partner with the 150th Sesquicentennial celebration of the town, so it will be 150 years of Whistles and Roses, celebrating our connection to the trains (and why we were incorporated) as well as the roses. We’re hoping for floats and entries that will be somewhat historic or incorporating those two components.



  4. Darla Glenn says:

    How do I get a tractor ride application and the route they are taking?


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