TYLER | TOURISM

Each weekend during the Azalea and Spring Flower Trail through April 7, visitors will have the chance to meet the Azalea Belles. Dressed in antebellum-style dresses, they serve as official ambassadors for the city as they greet visitors and pose for photos.

The 10-mile driving tour begins at Broadway and Houston streets and features home gardens filled with colorful azaleas, dogwoods, tulips, wisteria and redbuds.

TheAzalea Belles are from the following high schools: All Saints Episcopal, Arp, Brook Hill, Cumberland Academy, Early College High School, East Texas Christian Academy, Grace Community, John Tyler, Robert E. Lee and Whitehouse. Others are from home-schooling families in the area.

Each girl submitted an application to the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, a portion of which asked the question: "What Does Tyler

Mean to You?" Below are some of their replies. The Azalea Belles are:

Marissa Alibrando: "Tyler is a community like no other. Everyone is welcoming and treats you like family. There is no other city I would rather live and grow in."

Trinity Bailey: "Tyler, to me, means traditions and giving back to the community, while also introducing myself to a new culture."

Lili Grace Bazzell: "Tyler is a wonderful city that is full of beautiful places and amazing people. Tyler is lush in life and full in cheerfulness. The people in Tyler are sincere and passionate in everything they do."

Blaire Boozer: "Tyler to me is home. I am thankful for Tyler and the stories it has taught me and memories it has brought me."

Tallon Clemmer: "I love Tyler for the little details that go unnoticed every day. The horn of the train that oddly brings comfort, the sweet smells of azaleas in spring and the joyous laughter of children at the numerous parks."

Jaiden Craig: "Every year, around Azalea Trails time, me and my little brother walk around and take pictures. Tyler is just so amazing. The experiences I've had here have shaped me into the person I am."

Madisyn Foster: "Tyler means opportunity. I live in a small town without many of the resources that Tyler has, so we spend many days in Tyler meeting friends to eat, shop with, or explore."

Ainsley Garner: "To me, Tyler is nature, history and tourism. Tyler is a growing city with beautiful historical sites and buildings that are in perfect balance with nature."

Emilee Hicks: "I've lived in Tyler for only about three years, but it's always been my home. My mother and grandparents have always lived here. When I go to college, I plan to move back here to be home with my family."

Rachel Humphrey: "I love Tyler! I was born here and have lived here my whole life. I love the trees and the lakes, the businesses, the people and the history and traditions. Tyler is the perfect size town."

Millie Jeske: "Tyler is a place that captures the way that every city should be. The scenery is gorgeous, the memories are priceless, and the friendships are fulfilling. It is the embodiment of the word home, a home that always welcomes me back."

Christiana Lloyd: "Tyler is my home town, my point of origin. I love the atmosphere and the trails; the kindness given to visitors. Tyler is a part of me that I love."

Katelyn Malone: "Tyler is a city filled with people of different beliefs and backgrounds who come together to support the community and better society. We do this through schools, religious groups, civic organizations, along with friends and family."

Macy Maxwell: "Tyler is a beautiful town full of something for everyone! It is wonderful for photographers. With the brick streets, the beautiful homes, gorgeous azaleas and roses ... you can always find a picture spot."

Eve McIntyre: "Tyler, to me, means many things, but above all, it means history. I love how Tyler actively preserves and displays its many buildings and sites. Each year during the Azalea Trail season, I love seeing our community unite."

Hannah McKinney: "When I think of Tyler, not only do I recall the countless memories I have made here, but also the kind people, stunning scenery and gorgeous weather. The city has an irreplaceable spot in my heart and I am proud to call Tyler my home."

Rebekah Miller: "Tyler means home to me. I have lived here all of my life and I can't imagine living anywhere else! Tyler is an incredible place with a lot of sweet, incredible people. It's a place that deserves to be shared with everyone."

Soledad Morales: "Tyler is a beautiful and wonderful place to raise your children. The people are really amazing and really nice to be around. The Azalea Belles have been around for a while. ... I have a picture with them from when I was just a couple months old."

Riley Mraz: "Tyler means the chance for new experiences, meeting new people, and making new friends along the way. I have assisted with community events in the past, because a thriving community raises the quality of life."

Julia Musselwhite: "I love Tyler for the loving community and how beautiful town this is. The beautiful azaleas that bloom in the spring brings me a massive amount of joy and fun with the Rose Parade and walking down the Azalea Trail. The Rose Capital is my home."

Ashley Nguyen: "I love growing up in a small town with conservative Christian values filled with beautiful flowers and people who are welcoming and friendly. No matter where my future takes me, Tyler will always be my home town and will always have a special place in my heart."

Mykalee Peterson: "Tyler is a beautiful and unique city filled with outgoing citizens who improve the enjoyment and reputation of Tyler. To me, Tyler is a home; we all seem to come together as a community and accomplish whatever it may be ... that makes me proud!"

Annabelle Prosperi: "I have lived in Tyler for my whole life and almost every year, my family goes to the Azalea Trail to take pictures and enjoy the beauty. Since I was little, I have always wanted to be an Azalea Belle, representing the history and beauty of Tyler."

Rachel Roberts: "Tyler, to me, means friendship. I have so many amazing friends all over Tyler that I've met in various ways. Wherever you go, people are kind and welcoming."

Nicole Root: "Tyler is my home and has been since August of 2012 when I was adopted out of foster care into my forever family. Tyler is the place where I met my friends, discovered my talents and most importantly met the Lord as my Savior. Tyler is where my life began."

Katherine Sharkey: "Tyler holds many special memories for me ... everything from my first day of kindergarten, to my first time learning how to drive. To me, Tyler means home, love, family, friends and a good life."

Abby Smith: "Tyler is a place where everyone is welcome. When you come, you have a sense of warmth. Tyler enhances your opportunities to meet such friendly people. Not only that, but Tyler offers breathtaking scenery that you simply just can't find anywhere else."

Emma Sparks: "Tyler for me, means memories. When I grow up, I'll always remember the parades, museums, roses and azaleas. I'll remember walking downtown and admiring downtown paintings, especially the wall that says 'Be Happy'. I proudly say my home town is Tyler."

Angel Taylor: "Tyler means unity, love, family and adventure! Our town is a place of laughter and joy, and endless memories. Tyler has something to offer from young to old."

Caroline Wells: "Tyler is more than just a beautiful place where the azaleas bloom just as beautifully as its people. Tyler is a symbol of hope and perseverance over decades of never giving up, while allowing people from all social and economic backgrounds to work together. Everyone has a place in Tyler."

Abigail Whitinger: "I love Tyler because it has activities, beauty, history and charm with great shopping, dining and friendly hospitable people. In essence, Tyler is like a rose: many parts forming a desirable community to be proud of."

Grace Williams: "I have lived in Tyler for nearly eight years. It has been a wonderful place to live, and the people here are kind and friendly. Tyler, specifically, is a beautiful city, due to the upkeep of the historical areas and the flowers lining the roads. I appreciate that Tyler is a wonderful home."

Brynna Williamson: "Tyler is a beautiful, thriving city ... a place where friendship and fun are encouraged. It is an area large, and yet hospitable, brimming with history and loveliness. To me, Tyler is both representative of, and indicative of, the open arms and happy hearts that all Texans possess."

Katelyn Wilson: "Tyler is a good community, with lots of diversity and wonderful people. Tyler has been my home for the past eight years and I love this city. It is a beautiful place to live, with lots of opportunities to learn and grow."

Breighanna Young: "Tyler means everything to me because it's home. Tyler is this historic place filled with opportunity for anyone, especially for young women like me. I personally love how you can always learn something new about it everywhere you go, and it doesn't even have to be at a museum."

A brochure with a map of the trail and a listing of activities is available at Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, 315 N. Broadway Ave., from 8:30 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, through April 7.

Information about the trail also is available at Rose Garden Center, 420 Rose Park Drive, and on the Tyler website visittyler.com

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