It all started in the 1930s when banker Harry Harding gave his customers rose bushes in appreciation for their business. Continuing the reciprocation, the customers would bring back blooms in the springtime for him.
The beauty and fragrance inspired Harding to start the Pleasanton Rose Show so everyone could share the loveliness. The show eventually outgrew the bank and moved to other venues including the Century House on Santa Rita Road. Last year it was held at the library.
Also, somewhere along the line, the roses began to be judged.
The show wasn't held for a few years until a trio of women, who call themselves the Rosettes, decided to bring it back six years ago. The women, Feslie Faught, Marti Gilbert and Joyce Jones, are Alain Pinel Realtors, which also sponsors the show. This year the city of Pleasanton has joined in.
"When we first started out about we probably had about 400 people come through the Century House, and at the library we've actually had up to 2,000 people come through, over 400 entries," said Jones in an interview on Tri-Valley Community Television. "It's grown, immensely. Now, we actually outgrew the library. That's part of why we're going to the senior center."
"This year to join with the city is huge for us," Gilbert said. "It's allowed us to grow and do the things we haven't been able to do by ourselves."
The event is known as "the people's show" because anyone can bring roses from their home garden to enter. Exhibitor registration is from 7:30-10 a.m. Judging is 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and the show is open to the public from 1-4 p.m. The awards ceremony is at 1:30 p.m.
This year the event includes wine tasting for $5 from 1-4 p.m. featuring Little Valley Winery of Pleasanton.
Go to www.thepleasantonroseshow.com for information on entering roses. Tips include cutting the specimens, grooming the entries and transporting them.
"Don't strip the leaves off the roses," advises one judge. "The leaves and roses should be in balance."