Azalea Trail events begin March 20

photo by Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph

Tylerites and visitors alike can mark their calendars for the 56th annual Azalea and Spring Flower Trail. Dates for the Azalea Trail events have been set for March 20- April 5.

A ribbon cutting and opening ceremony is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on March 20 at the historic Pyron home, 212 W. Dobbs St. The hour-long ceremony is free and open to the public.

"We are planning to have punch, cookies, and coffee to serve to the people that come to the opening ceremony," said Joan Pyron, historic home owner and host of ribbon cutting. "I would encourage all of East Texas to come and see the opening ceremony because it really is pretty."

Joan and Guy Pyron have lived in their historic home for over 20 years. The ribbon cutting ceremony has been held at their home for the past four years.

"Our home was built in 1932," said Pyron. "It's a great adventure each year, and we truly enjoy watching the people walk around and enjoy the trail."

Pyron says she had some early "red ruffles" azalea blooms before the weather got too cold. Those blooms are gone now, but the Pyron's are expecting them to come back plus more in the middle of March. 

According To Keith Hansen, the Smith County Horticultural Agent, all the blooms on one azalea bush will and can open at different times sometimes taking a week's time. The recent cooler temperatures have slowed all the blooms down this year. Much like years before. 

"The azaleas are expected to have a later bloom this year," Smith County Horticultural Extension Agent, Keith Hansen said. " You just never know, but warm air temperatures will bring the plants on. It depends on how warm and sunny it will get."

At the opening ceremony, the 2015 Azalea Belles will be there in full antebellum gowns to mingle and take pictures with visitors. A former Belle, Jewel Rena'e Kirkendoll,  will be playing the violin.  

The opening ceremony is just the start of a two-week-long string of events for the Azalea Trail area. Other events on the weekend of the 20th are the Tyler Rose Golf Classic, Tyler's Premier Tennis Charity event and the "Spring through the eyes of a child" art exhibit. 

Check out www.visittyler.com for event details, times and dates during the next few weeks.