The first festival took place more than 100 years ago, in 1903. Today the Rose Festival is an international event, visited and enjoyed by thousands of tourists and guests of Kazanlak. Three main events are worth a visit – early morning harvesting ritual in the rose fields, the electing of Queen Rose and the parade along the streets of each town. The processions and the celebrations last for two days. The climax of the festival in on Sunday when Queen Rose is being elected and festival parade takes place along the main streets of each village. There are other interesting events, taking place during the festival weekend – choir a capella and folklore concerts, art shows, exhibitions, wine-tasting, gourmet-shows, etc.
The Rose Festival and the fame of the Bulgarian oil-yielding rose attract numerous visitors from all parts of the world, the most numerous are visitors from Japan, Taiwan and France. In 1967 with a Ministerial decree the Rose Festival was confirmed as a national holiday. Except for the visitors from the Rose Valley, guests at the festival were the heads of states, notable personalities and politicians from Bulgaria and foreign countries including Todor Jivkov, Fidel Castro, Simeon Sacs Cobburg Gotta and Donia Margarita.