Mount Rainier, towering about 50 miles outside Tacoma, serves as an outdoor adventure spot and an image of natural beauty in the South Sound.
That image will be the focal point of 109th annual Rose Show put on by the Tacoma Rose Society.
“I visualized Mount Rainier and in the base of the mountain, a field full of roses and I had a good vision for that,” said Matt Hixon, the society's first vice president and Rose Show chairman. “Just having that mountain — that really is who we are, especially on the west side of the mountains here. What really represents the Pacific Northwest is Mount Rainier.”
After a variety of themes in recent years, ‘Of Mountains and Roses’ aims to reconnect people with the landscape that surrounds the area.
“It brings more of a closeness to the mountains and who we are as people from the Pacific Northwest,” Hixon said.
The theme will be showcased in the arrangements of roses, said Margaret Leisner, secretary of the Rose Society. Leisner said a number of the arrangements are named after nearby mountains and their environments, such as Mount Rainier Sunrise, Meadows of Indian Paintbrush and Cascade Design.
“I think they are going to be quite unique,” Leisner said.
June normally brings the sun and heat roses need to blossom, but a warmer May got the job done early. The early roses will only add to the show, Hixon said.
“We think we are going to have a full house this year. That’s what we are hoping for. We want the tables just full. And we think we will,” Leisner said.
Regardless of theme, both Hixon and Leisner hope to share their love for roses with the people of Tacoma.
“We want as much of the public there as possible so we can share our passion of roses and hopefully educate some of the folks out there about roses,” Hixon said.
109th Tacoma Rose Society Show
When: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 16
Where: Jackson Hall, 314 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma
Admission: Free to general public
Entries: Due between 6:30-9:45 a.m. the day of the event.