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Tyler’s Azalea and Spring Flower Trail

The 42nd Annual Tyler Azalea and Spring Flower Trail (Mar. 17-Apr. 1, 2001) features 7.5 miles of marked tours, mostly through Tyler's Azalea District. Note that some of the trail-related events listed below extend into the first week of April. Obtain a brochure–it contains a map and a schedule of events–and an Event Map at the Tyler Convention and Visitors Bureau (just north of the courthouse, at 315 N. Broadway), then follow the yellow signs. Free streetside parking is available along the tour. Signs identify gardens open to strollers; otherwise, visitors should photograph or view gardens from sidewalks.

Tyler's Azalea Trail, a 28-page, color booklet by Catherine Bradley, presents Tyler history, historic homes, azalea facts, and a trail map. Available for $10 at the CVB.

For brochures or information on events, lodging, and restaurants, contact the CVB, Blackstone Bldg., 315 N. Broadway, Tyler 75702; 903/592-1661 or 800/235-5712; www.tylertexas.com.

Tyler's area code is 903.

All sites are wheelchair accessible unless otherwise noted.

Trail-Related Events

Historic Tyler on Tour (Mar. 23-25, 2001). Take a walking tour of historic residences in the Charnwood National Historic District. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 1-5. Admission: $6 advance, $8 at door. Tickets sold at northwest corner of Bergfeld Park, S. Broadway between 2nd and 4th. A Candlelight Tour (6:30-8:30 p.m.) and Party (8-10 p.m.) occurs on Fri. (Mar. 23). Admission: $25. Reservations required. Not wheelchair accessible. Call 595-1960 or 566-6717.

The Spring Art Show (Mar. 16-18, 2001) at the Woman's Bldg., 911 S. Broadway, features paintings by School of Fine Arts students. Selected paintings, handpainted gift cards, and miniature paintings are for sale. Hours: 9-5. Admission: Free. Call 592-8519.

East Texas Porcelain Art Guild Exhibit and Sale (Mar. 17-18, 2001), also at the Woman's Bldg. Shop for china vases, tea sets, eggs, and other items handpainted by guild members. Hours: Sat 9-5, Sun 10-4:30. Admission: Free. Call 592-6328 or 595-1790.

Among the exhibits on view at the Tyler Museum of Art (Tyler Junior College, 1300 S. Mahon) during the Azalea Trail are Rivals and Followers of Rubens and Rembrandt: Selections from a Golden Age of Dutch and Flemish Painting, 16th-17th Centuries; Japanese Screens and Cloisonné; and Heide Parke: Nature Photographs. Hours: Tue-Sat 10-5, Sun 1-5. Admission: $5. Write to 1300 S. Mahon, Tyler 75701; 595-1001.

Special trail-time events at the museum (call the museum's main number for more information) include the Edom Art Fair at Tyler Museum of Art (Mar. 17-18, 2001), with works by 75 artists: ceramics, blown and stained glass, jewelry, weaving, decorative and functional metal items, handmade clothing, paintings, and mixed media. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 12-5. Admission (includes both days): $5, $2 age 12 and younger.

The museum's major spring fund-raiser, Art & Bloom, features a series of events during trail-time, including a black-tie Gala (Mar. 24) and a Treasures Party (Mar. 30). "Arts and Letters Live," from the Dallas Museum of Art, will present "Texas Bound" (actors with ties to Texas reading works by Texas writers) on Apr. 1. Tickets required for most events; prices vary.

34th Annual Rose City Kiwanis Antique Show (Mar. 23-25, 2001) at Harvey Convention Center, 2000 W. Front St. Some 48 dealers selling Victorian and country-primitive furniture, toys, dolls, art glass, pottery, flo-blue china, linens, cut glass, jewelry, rare books, and other items. Hours: Fri-Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Ad-mission: $3 (good for all 3 days). Proceeds benefit local charities. Call 561-2887.

Azalea Trail Arts & Crafts Fair (Mar. 23-25, 2001) at Bergfeld Park (address listed previously). More than 150 booths, including food sales. Hours: Fri-Sat 9-5, Sun 12-5. Admission: Free. Call 531-1212.

Rose Heights Spring 5K & Fun Run (Mar. 24, 2001, 8 a.m.) at Rose Heights Church of God, 2120 Old Omen Rd., Tyler 75701. Registration: $12 per person for early registration (through Mar. 17), $15 late, $48 for immediate families of 4 or more. Call 566-2080.

Tyler Civic Ballet Spring Concert (Mar. 24-25, 2001) at Wise Auditorium, Tyler Junior College (address listed previously). Hours: Sat 7:30 p.m., Sun 2 p.m. Admission: $12, $8 age 65 and older, age 18 and younger, and students. Write to Box 9494, Tyler 75711; 596-0224; www.tylercivicballet.com.

Azalea 10K & Fun Run (Mar. 31, 2001) at Bergfeld Park (address listed previously). Hours: 2-mi. fun run begins at 8 a.m., 10K at 8:30 a.m. Registration: $15 per person for early registration (through Mar. 23), $20 late. Call 214/674-1053; www.tylerazalea10K.com.

Azalea Trail Victorian Tea & Raffle (Apr. 1, 2001) at Woman's Bldg. (address listed previously). Victorian treats and entertainment accompany this tea, presented by Tyler Woman's Forum. Admission: $15. Raffle grand prize (tickets $5) is a round trip for 2 for high tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia. Proceeds benefit the Woman's Bldg. preservation fund. Hours: 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Call 509-8999 or 561-8640. Reserved seating.

Apache Belle Spring Show (Apr. 5-7, 2001, 7:30 p.m.) at Tyler Junior College's Wise Auditorium (address listed previously). The Apache Belles, TJC's renowned precision dance and drill team, presents Footsteps in the Attic, a 2-hour song-and-dance production. Admission: $10. Write to Box 9020, Tyler 75711; 510-2244.

20th Annual Azalea Quilt Show (Apr. 6-8, 2001), Harvey Convention Center (address listed previously) includes a display of 200 quilts, a style show, demonstrations, and 20 vendors offering fabrics, sewing machines, quilt frames, and books. Hours: 11-5. Admission: $5, $4 age 65 and older and age 12 and younger. Call 825-2720.

Rambling Roses Square Dance (Apr. 7, 2001, 7-10:30 p.m.) at First Christian Church, Loop 323 at S. Broadway. Square and round dancing. Donation: $4. Call 769-9134 or 566-4538.

8th Annual Texas Blues Festival (Apr. 7, 2001), Fountain Plaza, downtown Tyler. Features Texas blues artists. Hours: Noon-midnight. Admission: $10 in advance at Ticketmasters and at Heart of Tyler office (315 N. Broadway, Ste. 306), $15 at gate. Write to Heart of Tyler, Box 158, Tyler 75710; 593-6905.

Tyler Attractions

The ca.-1878 McClendon House is at 806 W. Houston St. Open Fri-Sun during Azalea Trail and weekends year round. Guided tours available. Hours during Azalea Trail: Fri 3-6, Sat 10-6, Sun 1-5. Admission: $5, free age 6 and younger. Group tours, evening Victorian Parlor Games, and Murder Mystery Nights by appt. Not wheelchair accessible. Write to 806 W. Houston St., Tyler 75702; 592-3533.

The 14-acre Tyler Municipal Rose Garden, 420 Rose Park Dr., flaunts 30,000 rose bushes of 400 varieties, plus daylily and camellia collections. Call 531-1212. At the Tyler Rose Museum, in the Rose Garden Center, interactive exhibits, photographs, and glitzy memorabilia depict more than 60 years of Texas Rose Festival history. Gift shop. Call 597-3130.

More than 1,500 animals of 250 species inhabit natural settings at Caldwell Zoo, 2203 M.L.K. Blvd. Call 593-0121.

Goodman Museum (ca. 1859), 624 N. Broadway. A prominent family occupied this Greek Revival-style mansion for 72 years. On self-guided tours, don't miss the hand-painted, center-match board ceiling in the North Parlor. The museum is a Texas Historic Landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. First floor wheelchair accessible. Call 531-1286.

Tyler State Park, 2 mi. north of I-20 and 8 mi. north of Tyler on FM 14. Amenities include a 64-acre spring-fed lake with fishing, swimming, and rental boats, plus 149 tent and RV campsites, screened shelters, group facilities, and hiking and mountain-bike trails. Partially wheelchair accessible. For camping reservations, call 512/389-8900; www.tpwd.state.tx.us. For general information, call 597-5338.

Harrold's Model Train Museum, 8103 N. US 271. Explore Harrold Little's 1,800-piece collection of model-railroad engines, cars, cabooses, and railroad memorabilia. Call 531-9404.

Tyler Junior College's Hudnall Planetarium, 1200 S. Mahon, offers a multimedia presentation (Sun 2 p.m., Wed 1 p.m.) in a domed theater, an exhibit area, and monthly, outdoor star parties. Limited wheelchair access. Call 510-2312; www.tyler.cc.tx.us/planet/planet.htm.

Brookshire's World of Wildlife Museum and Country Store, at 1600 WSW Loop 323 and Old Jacksonville Hwy., features more than 250 mounted examples of wildlife, a replica 1920s grocery store, picnic area, playground, and gift shop. Call 534-2169; Web site: www.brookshires.com/company/museum.

Bed and Breakfasts

The Woldert-Spence Manor (ca. 1859), 611 W. Woldert St. Rates: $80-$125 (includes all-you-can-eat breakfast). Limited wheelchair accessibility. Call 533-9057 or 800/965-3378; www.woldert-spence.com. Rosevine Inn, 415 S. Vine Ave. Rates: $85-$125 (includes full breakfast). Not wheelchair accessible. Call 592-2221. Chilton Grand/Ivy Cottage, 433 S. Chilton. Rates: $75-$150 (includes full breakfast). Not wheelchair accessible. Call 595-3270.

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