Festival of the Red Rose
2017 Festival of the Red Rose:
The 2017 Festival of the Red Rose will be held on Sunday, June 11, beginning at 1:30pm. Our special Rose Festival Choir will "move you with the spirit" with their musical presentation of various gospel songs. The Rose Festival Service will follow the musical performance.
Representing the Henry William Stiegel family this year and receiving the "rent" of one red rose will be Ms. Teresa Trible from Waukee, Iowa. Teresa is a ninth-generation descendant of Mr. Stiegel and his second wife, Elizabeth Holz Stiegel.
Attorney David A. Pfeiffer from Manheim will serve as Zion's legal representative.
The full schedule for the day begins with the morning worship service at 9:00am with Pastor Rick Whitesel preaching. A reception for all will be held in the Rose Parlor immediately following the service of worship. Pastor Whitesel will also be the speaker for our Rose Festival Service. His message will focus on Martin Luther and the Reformation.
An ice cream social will be held following the Rose Festival Service.
Please mark your calendars and plan to join us on June 11 for this historic event.
Story behind the Festival of the Red Rose:
In 1772 at a time when Henry William Stiegel was at the zenith of his career, he, with his wife, conveyed to their fellow Lutherans in Manheim a plot of ground on which to build a church - for five shillings and "in the month of June yearly forever hereafter the rent of One Red Rose if the same shall be lawfully demanded."
Whether the rent of a red rose was actually ever paid to Stiegel is in doubt although persistent tradition is that twice the token payment was made. Certain it is that this sentimental and lovely red rose payment was virtually forgotten until 1892, one hundred twenty years after the deed containing the red rose clause was written. In that year, a local physician, J. H. Sieling, conceived the unique idea that a churchly all-day festival might well be built around a revival of the payment of one red rose to a descendant of Stiegel, if such a one could be found. Thus the Festival of the Red Rose was instituted and a Stiegel descendant in the person of John C. Stiegel of Harrisonburg, VA came to Manheim in 1892 to receive one red rose from Zion Lutheran congregation. Since that year, on each selected Sunday in June, the congregation of Zion Lutheran Church pays the debt of one red rose to a selected Stiegel descendant in the ancient deed of seventeen hundred seventy-two.
Henry William Stiegel is one of the most celebrated characters in Lancaster County history; and as long as the Festival of the Red Rose is annually observed and as long as the major museums of our land continue to honor Stiegel by exhibiting the lovely glassware which came from his Manheim glassworks, the story of Stiegel and his town of Manheim will continue to illuminate the ages of history.