Meet This Year's Azalea Belles
Azalea Belles welcome visitors to Tyler's Azalea & Spring Flower Trail, set for March 16 to April 1. The 2018 Azalea Belles have been announced for this year's event.
The 2018 Azalea Belles are:
- Marissa Alibrando, Arp High School
- Madeline Anthony, Cumberland Academy
- Cally Browning, Lindale High School
- Morgan Carter, Early College High School
- Paisley Daugherty, Grace Community
- Megan Dillon, Lindale High School
- Megan Fenton, Abeka Academy/Homeschool
- Ainsley Garner, East Texas Christian Academy
- Elaina Gonzalez, Grace Community
- Rachel Humphrey, Homeschool
- Autumn Jenkins, Cumberland Academy
- Christiana Lloyd, Cumberland Academy
- Macy Maxwell, Arp High School
- Anna-Grace McCuistion, Kings Academy
- Rebekah McFadden, Lindale High School
- Eve McIntyre, Homeschool
- Emily Oney, Homeschool
- Olivia Oney, Homeschool
- Karleigh Perez, Robert E. Lee
- Brooklynn Peterson, Venture
- Mykalee Peterson, Whitehouse High School
- Laurel Reed, Robert E. Lee
- Nicole Root, Homeschool
- Carlie Sessions, Cumberland Academy
- Emma Smith, Robert E. Lee
- Mary Tate Stone, Robert E. Lee
- Angel Taylor, Arp High School
- Ashlyn Trask, Cumberland Academy
- Mikala VanBuskirk, Grace Community
- Katelyn Watters, Robert E. Lee
- Isabelle “Belle” West, Brownsboro High School
- Kendall Westbrook, Robert E. Lee
- Sharmise Wilkerson, Lindale High School
- Grace Williams, Homeschool
- Breighanna Young, Cumberland Academy
The girls must go through an application process, antebellum-style dress fittings, and an orientation where they learn how to answer frequently asked questions along the trail.
“We have a great group of girls this year, and we can’t wait to get them out on the Trail to greet visitors,” Susan Travis, Visit Tyler Vice President of Tourism & Servicing said.
Travis has been in charge of the Belles for the past 14 years and said the competition was tough.
“This year we had more girls apply than ever before, so these girls were the best of the best,” Travis said.
The Azalea & Spring Flower Trail is three weekends long and kicks off March 16 with the official ribbon cutting held at 10 a.m. at the home of Guy and Joan Pyron, 212 West Dobbs, Tyler. This is also the first chance for the public to meet the Azalea Belles.
In 1964, the first Azalea Belles were introduced to the Azalea & Spring Flower Trail. The first group of Belles was made up of two chamber of commerce secretaries. These ladies made their own costumes by hand and distributed brochures to guests along the Trail.
Now the belles are a much beloved and anticipated part of the three weekend event. Tourists are taken aback by the local hospitality and the extra flare these young ladies add to the overall experience. These belles are truly the ambassadors of the Trail. They are always happy to visit with guests and pose for photos in any of the beautiful gardens along the Trail.
For a complete list of events, a map of the Trail, a progress on the blooms, and more information go to VisitTyler.com/AzaleaTrail.