VIDEO: Azalea Trail ribbon cutting is Friday morning

Published on Thursday, 20 March 2014 10:11 - Written by

(MCT) -- The Azalea and Spring Flower Trail officially opens this weekend, but it might be another week or two before the blooms come out to play.

The 55th annual trail features 10 miles of residential gardens and historical home sites resplendent with brilliant blooms.

Ribbon cutting for the trail will be 10 a.m. Friday, 212 W. Dobbs St. in Tyler.

The Dobbs Trail and the Lindsey Trail wind through the Azalea District in Tyler, designed to maintain traffic flow so visitors can enjoy as many of the blooms as possible.

But because of the colder-than-normal winter, the flowers are delayed this year, although organizers hope by not too long.

Each year, the Tyler Convention and Visitors Bureau sponsors an amateur photography contest during the trail. Cash prizes are awarded, and winning photos may be used in future Azalea Trail brochures, promotions and websites.

This year for the first time, the Azalea Society of America Azalea Clinic will be held 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Tyler Rose Garden in the IDEA Garden. Buddy Lee, breeder and “Father of the Encore Azalea,” along with Smith County Horticulturist Keith Hanson, will speak during this free clinic and azalea-planting demonstration.

In conjunction with the trail, the Rose City Artisans and Flower Market takes place 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Goodman-LeGrand Museum, 624 N. Broadway. This open-air market features live entertainment and local artisans selling everything from locally grown produce to win, bedding plants and handmade items.

The 33rd annual Tyler Quilt Show also will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Harvey Convention Center, 2000 W. Front St. There will be more than 200 quilts on display, plus vendors, demonstrations, scissors sharpening and a raffle. Admission is $6 for adults; seniors over 65 and children under 12 are $5.

The Tyler Azalea 10k and 2-mile run will be 8 a.m. Saturday at Bergfeld Park, 1510 College Ave. Cost is $20 to $40 to register, but it’s free to watch.

The Camp Ford Living History demonstration runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Camp Ford Park, 6500 U.S. 271. Cost is free to see men and women dress in period costumes, firing off the cannon each hour, exhibits, flag retirement ceremony and mock battles.

For information about the Azalea Trail and related events, which run through April 6, visit .