47th Annual Azalea Trail In Full Bloom Friday - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/15/06-Tyler

47th Annual Azalea Trail In Full Bloom Friday

In just a few days the 47th Annual Azalea Trail will kick off in full bloom. This event attracts thousands to Tyler. One Homeowner is putting the finishing touches on his yard, and is hoping for good weather.

Year after year, it's the beauty of the azaleas that attracts visitors to Tyler.

"The Tyler Azalea Trail was voted as one of the top 100 events in the country last year," says Justin Turner, Vice President of Tourism with the City of Tyler.

But it's not an event that can be put together on a whim. "There would not be an Azalea Trail without the residents along the trail. They work diligently through the year to get their yards nice," says Justin.

Azalea Trail homeowner, Guy Pyron will be working up to the last minute to make is yard picture perfect. "It's pretty much a year long activity, in February we start to clean all of the bed thoroughly. Then we mulch everything each year. This year of course we have a new project that we have been working on that has pushed us quite a bit," says Guy Pyron, Azalea Trail resident.

Guy is finishing the stone work on the new arbor. "It started out to be a simple little arbor but it has turned out to be larger than we anticipated. But I think people will enjoy it and I know we will," says Guy. Last year, he estimates about 15,000 people came through his yard.

According to the City of Tyler, thousands of people will be traveling to Tyler for the Azalea Trail. Last year, the total economic impact was more than 3.2 million dollars. And the city hopes even more people will turn out to see the azaleas.

"We always try to beat the year before but if we have rain it might slack off a little bit. We are hoping for the best weather that we can have," says Justin.

"We hope everyone will come out and enjoy the flowers. We hope and pray that the weather is good for us," says Guy.

The 47th Azalea Trail begins this Friday, March 17th and ends April 2nd. A few events this weekend are the chili cook-off, and the arts and crafts fair in Bergfeld Park in Tyler.

Karolyn Davis, reporting. kdavis@kltv.com

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