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Coffeeoutside Tyler: Brewing Community, One Cup At A Time


Coffee. The magical elixir. The beautiful bean juice. College students and professionals alike consume copious amounts of it. Since its origins around Sufi campfires in Yemen during the 15th century, it has been consumed by royalty and commoners alike. It has been at the center of countless numbers of meetings, treaties, business deals, Saturday morning breakfasts, Sunday brunches, and early morning meditations. Renowned martial artist and actor, Jackie Chan, once aptly said, “Coffee is a language in itself.”  

One local Tyler resident, Carlos Barron, has recently decided to take that language and use it to build bridges around the city by getting people to sit down together and enjoy a free cup of coffee and all the conversation you can stand as they get to know their neighbors at local events called Coffeeoutside Tyler (COT).

Carlos Barron’s story begins like thousands of others here in East Texas. Born in Tyler in 1984, Carlos attended school locally, eventually graduating from Robert E. Lee and like so many before, started his college career at Tyler Junior College. After a couple of years there, Barron decided to finish his degree at the University of Texas, San Antonio and graduated with a bachelor of science in biology in 2009.  

After a couple of moves between Tyler and San Antonio, during which he developed a love for cycling, Carlos settled in Austin around 2012 where he worked in a local cycling shop with the goal of becoming a certified cycling mechanic. During his time in Austin, life happens as it often does, and after marriage and the birth of their first child, the Barron family decided to move back to Tyler in 2015 to be closer to their respective families and begin the whole parenting thing with a support system in place. During this transition time back to Tyler, Carlos supported himself by helping out at a ranch owned by family friends as well as working part time at Elite Cycles and Natural Grocers.  

At this point in Carlos’ story, a vision started to form of combining his love of cycling with getting the community of cyclers together for coffee in order to hang out and get to know each other better. The initial Coffeeoutside started as an event held in Bergfeld Park, about 15 months ago, for people to pack some camp stoves and coffee on their bikes, ride to the park, brew coffee, and just hang out.

“I really didn’t have this big plan at that time,” Barron remembers about that first event. “It really was a mess. My logistics were off, and it was just us hanging out at the park with our bikes and our coffee. It was drizzling, cold, and soggy, but at some point I stepped back and saw that as people were sharing their coffee with each other, trying new brands, new brew techniques, and having fun, something was happening beyond what my expectations were.”

What was happening at that first event was, unexpectedly, the beginnings of what would come to be known as Coffeeoutside Tyler. Barron recalls, “I had this realization that we weren’t just brewing community, we were making connections; we were making friendships; we were just having a great time, and that’s where the meaning of COT came from.”

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From that first humble beginning, Carlos had this crazy idea that if you give people a venue, a reason, and an opportunity to “engage with others through communications and actions,” then good things are going to happen. Building on a relationship started from his time at Natural Grocers. Carlos tapped Porch Culture Coffee to supply coffee for these events and the idea grew to include not just the bike community, but the entire Tyler community. According to Carlos, “John and Shelly over at Porch Culture are really great people and we use their coffee exclusively out of a desire to promote local connections and networks.”

Also from that time period, Barron met Claudia Carmago and Gaby Kingry who have been instrumental in helping with social media as well as photography. Carlos states, “They have been instrumental in capturing and helping share COT’s message. I am not a photographer so having them being part of the team has been a blessing.”

Carlos will typically pair with a local business about once a month to host a COT event, and it typically coincides with an event or promotion the local venue is sponsoring. Barron will bring COT to the venue, set up his coffee, and then watch as connections happen right before his eyes.

“Each local business has their own community, their own followers, and regular people they serve. Every local business gives something to that community whether we realize it or not,” Carlos muses. “If I’m lucky, I can bring enough of my regular attendees to interact with each individual venue’s community and special things can happen. Even if it is just one new person I meet and connect with, then the day has been a success.”

Although COT events are hosted at local businesses, Barron doesn’t rely on those businesses to offset the cost of the logistics for Coffeeoutside. Carlos sees this not as a way to make a quick buck, but rather a marathon of building experiences for people and providing an intrinsic value that will make them want to come back. Part of the focus for COT is to bring people’s attention back to what’s happening in the community here in Tyler, and Barron’s hope is that by helping to highlight these local businesses and their communities, locals will start to become more engaged in what’s happening around them.  

“Boy’s and Girl’s clubs, homeless shelters, and other local charities need people who are willing to engage with their community,” says Barron. “More so than just giving money to make yourself feel better, giving of your time allows that connection to be personal and in doing so, you give the people you are helping value that goes beyond just a dollar amount.”

While Carlos hopes that in the future he can combine the Coffeeoutside concept with his original love of cycling into a bike shop/coffee shop experience, for now he’s just focusing on continuing to brew his community, one cup at a time.  

The next scheduled event will be on June 10th at Moss Flower Shop, 2210 3 Lakes Pkwy., Ste. 160 in Tyler, off Old Jacksonville Hwy. near FRESH by Brookshire’s, 9-11am. There will be music provided by Ian Powers, a photobooth provided by Inkredible Sounds, fresh Porch Culture coffee and, as always, the chance to step outside your own box and brew your own community.

For more info find Coffee Outside Tyler on Facebook and Instagram.

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Dinosaurs are Back at Discovery Science Place!


Return of the Dinosaurs This Summer at Discovery Science Place

Discovery Science Place (DSP) is located at 308 N. Broadway Ave., Downtown Tyler. DSP is open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 1-5pm, and closed on Mondays. Summer Hours (Memorial Day through Labor Day) are Monday-Saturday: 10am-5pm, and Sunday 1-5pm.

Tickets are $8 for adults (ages 13 and up), $6 for children (ages 2-12), $6 per person for seniors (65 and up), $5 per person for active military (must provide ID), and children under 2 are free. For more info call (903)533-8011 or go to

Return of the Dinosaurs, Coming This Summer!

Come walk among the dinosaurs again as DSP’s celebrates its 25th anniversary! Take your picture riding a Triceratops or braving the jaws of a T-Rex. See two Protoceratops guarding their nest or view the long-necked Apatosaurus. View actual fossils along with animatronic models of the “terrible lizards” of long ago.

“Return of the Dinosaurs” is featured in the DSP Annex building next door to the main museum building. Tickets are purchased at the main museum front desk (under the green portico) and exhibit entry is on Broadway under the blue awning.

“Return of the Dinosaurs” is a separately ticketed exhibit. Ticket prices are: $8 for adults ages: 13 and up, and $6 for children ages: 2-12. Current DSP members get in for 1/2 price ($4 and $3). Children under 2 are free.

You can view actual fossils along with animatronic models of the “terrible lizards” of long ago. The exhibit runs June 9th-August 19th.

Summer Camps at Discovery Science Place

8 weeks of camps are planned, from June 11th-August 10th. Each week has a different theme, and campers are divided into two age groups based on school grade: entering 1st-3rd grade, or for students entering 4th-6th grades. Every camper this summer will also be able to tour the exciting summer 2018 traveling exhibit. Camps are from 10am-4pm each day, and extended programming is available from 7:30am-5:30pm.

The cost is $175 per week per camper with a 10% discount for DSP museum members. Cost includes a snack and all camp materials each day, but campers will need to bring a sack lunch. Camps are:

June 11th-15th: Vex Robotics 1

The Discovery Science Place will fill with the sounds of whirling wheels and motors during this robotics camp. They have upgraded to Vex Robotics and are excited to see campers build claw bots and tackle new challenges! This camp is limited to 15 per class.

June 18th-22nd: Make: Create

Curious makers will want to sign up for this camp! During the week children will learn about the design process, then apply those ideas to bridges, buildings, fog cannons and more.

June 25th-29th: Mad Science

If it bubbles, oozes, or pops, campers will give it a try during this camp. Young camper scientists will make slime, rockets, and more. Campers need to be prepared, because science can be messy!

July 9th-13th: 3D Modeling featuring Minecraft

Everyone loves Minecraft, and campers will put that knowledge to good use by transforming their Minecraft designs from the digital space to the real world using 3D printing technology. This camp is capped at 15 students per class.

July 16th-20th: Vex Robotics II

The Discovery Science Place will fill with the sounds of whirling wheels and motors during robotics camp. They have upgraded to a new robotics system, and are excited to see their campers build claw bots and tackle new challenges. This camp is limited to 15 per class.

July 23rd-27th: 3D Modeling featuring Minecraft II

Everyone loves Minecraft, and will put that knowledge to good use by transforming their Minecraft designs from the digital space to the real world using 3D printing technology. This camp is limited to 15 per class.

July 30th-August 3rd: Take Flight/ Make it Move

This exciting week lets campers explore various forms of flight, from airplanes to rockets, as well as learning the basis of movement and flight. Rockets will launch, planes will glide, cars will loop-de-loop, and more.

August 6th-10th: Kitchen Chemistry

No Summer camp at the DSP would be complete without Kitchen Chemistry week. Nearly all the activities done during this week can be replicated at home with parent help. Campers will make slime, learn about cooking with solar power, and create paint using vegetables and spices.

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Around East Texas

June 22nd-23rd: 10th Annual Tyler Coin Show


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June 22nd-23rd – 10th Annual Tyler Coin Show will be held at Harvey Convention Center, 2000 W. Front St., Tyler. Friday, June 22nd the show will be 12 noon-5pm and Saturday, June 23rd 9am-5pm. There will be coins, currency, tokens, gold and silver on over 50 tables. They will do verbal appraisals and there will be door prizes, educational displays, and more. For more info call (903)570-3136 or email

July 4th (8am-11pm) – Smith County Freedom Ride and Festival 2018 – This free event will feature fireworks, hotdogs, drinks, watermelons, kids, pets, hot-rods and motorcycles, and there is no better way to celebrate the 4th of July on a Wednesday! Come out, celebrate our freedom, and honor all those who serve at this Independence Day festival and ride. Downtown businesses will be open to the public. Public will vote on “Smith County Most Patriotic Ride” and “Smith County Most Patriotic Hotrod” from 12 noon-4pm. The Independence Day Ride will begin at 5pm to the clubhouse to the free firework show at dark. Everyone in the community is welcome to join in on the fun. For more info go to

July 29th (12:30-4:30pm) – Bridal Expo with East Texas Bride focuses exhibitors, bridal fashion presentations, grand prizes, and fabulous fun. This is sponsored by All American Party & Tent Rentals, Complete Weddings & Events East Texas, and Fantasy & Fairytale Floral Designs. There will be grand prize giveaways that include The Landing at Joshua Farms offering a fabulous Saturday Package valued at $4500; Bella Sera Ranch offering a Friday DIY package for 150 guests valued at $2695 (excludes December); Old Omen Guest House “Event Day Free” for 150 guests; Eagle’s Bluff $1800 venue package; Venue 31 Events $1,000 in event rentals; Fantasy & Fairytale Floral Designs offering Floral Package valued at $1,000; Complete East Texas Weddings & Events offering DJ, Video, and Photography Packages; Lisa Gallant Photography Package valued at $1,200; Simply Beautiful Flowers & More a $500 Floral Package; Nichole Beth Photography $500 Bridal Session; The Barn at the Silver Spur Cabin overnight stay. Don’t miss this wonderful summer bridal event. Register for reduced tickets for $8 online and secure your bride bag and your Symbolize It gift card. Tickets at the door are $10. This will be held at Harvey COnvention Center, 2000 W. Front St., Tyler.

Ongoing Events

Hit the Bricks: 2nd Saturday Downtown Tyler (Second Saturday of each month, 12 noon-10pm) – Get out and about on and off the square where Downtown businesses will be offering fun events all day long. There is free parking in the Fair parking garage. Rain or shine, Downtown Tyler will be the place to be every second Saturday. For more info and a full list of events go to or find Hit the Bricks on Facebook. Dates are: May 12th, June 9th, July 14th, August 11th, September 8th, October 13th, November 10th, and December 8th.

Canton First Monday Trade Days Market is held Thursday-Sundays. What started more than a century ago as a flea market has become home to some of the most exciting, cutting-edge home furnishings, antiques, and collectibles that can be found anywhere. For more info call (903)567-6556 or go to Dates are: May 3rd-6th, May 31st-June 3rd, June 28th-July 1st, August 2nd-5th, August 30th-September 2nd, September 27th-30th, November 1st-4th, November 29th-December 2nd.

Free Yoga Saturday (9am-12:30pm) – Every 3rd Saturday of the month, beFree offers a free day of yoga. You don’t have to sign up ahead of time but you can if you’d like to, and there are no catches – just free yoga with the beFree instructors in their beautiful and healing studio space. Check the schedule to choose any class on that day that you will most enjoy at beFree Yoga is located at 212 Old Grande Blvd., Tyler, (903)630-6142,

Every 4th Thursday, April 26th, May 24th, June 28th (6-10pm) – Geek World Paint Night – With all the excitement around games requiring models, Geek World has had a few of the communities best painters offer to lead a free painting night the 4th Thursday of every month. Bring your painting projects and get your questions answered plus learn some new tricks and techniques. This is free to attend and all painting supplies will be 10% off during the event and 20% off special orders. Geek World is located at 410 WSW Loop 323, Tyler, (903)363-9751, Geek World also offers nightly tournaments, game nights, all day Commander games, Friday night magic, and many pre-release sneak peek events.

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Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir Set to Perform, August 3rd

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Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir set for August 3rd Concert at Oil Palace

The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir is coming to East Texas for a concert at The Oil Palace on August 13th at 7:30pm.

The 270-member Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir is directed by Carol Cymbala, the wife of Pastor Jim Cymbala. Made up mostly of church members without formal vocal training, over the years the choir has received  five Dove Awards and six Grammy Awards. The choir has performed at Billy Graham Crusades and the 2012 Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C.

After nearly thirty years of recordings and live performances, Carol and the choir continue to rely on the Lord for his grace and direction in their ministry. The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir is a highly unlikely group of people, a mixture of ethnic and economic backgrounds, in the heart of a city synonymous with coldness and decay. Made up of doctors, attorneys and former street people, nurses and ex-crack addicts, the choir is a unique cross section of humanity. Pastor Cymbala explains “None of us would have met if it weren’t for Christ. Our backgrounds are just too diverse. But all of us have one thing in common: we have all been lifted up and changed by the power of Jesus Christ. So the choir sings, not about a mere theological doctrine, but about what has happened to them. It’s not just the lyrics of a song; it’s a reality to each of them.” Starting each rehearsal with prayer reinforces that principle as the choir asks the Lord to bless their music and anoint their songs for the services.

“After the $2 million renovation of The Oil Palace, we made a decision that we were going to broaden the scope of our concerts and events,” Kevin Michael Barbaro, The Oil Palace spokesman, said in a prepared statement. “We are committed to the people of East Texas and will bring in events from around the world that will enhance the lives of the community.”

Tickets start at $15 and will be available at The Oil Palace is located at 10408 TX 61, Tyler, (903)566-2120.

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