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Let’s Get Outdoors: Unique Local Places to Explore

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Spring Weather Offers Unique Local Outdoor Places to Explore

East Texas has an abundance of parks and nature to explore. Check out these this spring, each one offering participants a totally different experience – from the nature lover to skateboarder to historian.

Lindsey Park & Bike Trail, located at 12557 Spur 364 W. in west Tyler, is an exciting venue for bicycle enthusiasts to enjoy the great outdoors. The park has trails and an outdoor sports area offered at Lindsey Park. It was developed through a creative partnership between the City of Tyler, the Tyler Bicycle Club, and the Smith County justice system.

The newest mountain bike trail rolls ten miles through the 130 wooded acres of Lindsey Park. The entrance and exit can be found across the park road from the parking lot of the lower softball fields.

Faulkner Park Nature Trail And Bike Trail, located at 410 W. Cumberland Rd. in south Tyler, has two trails totaling 1.4 miles in length for the walking/jogging nature lovers and a six mile natural surface trail for adventurous bike riders.

The nature trail’s surface is made of decomposed granite which is easier on the joints to walk or jog on than concrete or asphalt.

The trail meanders through East Texas woods and a person on the trail is likely to see wildlife such as deer or raccoons. Configuration of the trails allows citizens to feel in tune with nature and not overly crowded by civilization.

If you are looking for something a bit more adventurous, check out the Noble E. Young Skate Park and 9-Hole Disc Golf Course, located at 3125 Seaton St. in west Tyler.

This Park has an all-concrete skate park that provides challenges for all skill levels and ages of skateboarders. The park includes: two bowls, banks, ramps, and rails. This is likely the best free-to-use park within 200 miles of Tyler and is drawing skaters from all over the country. The park is open daily 6am-12 midnight.

The Park also has a nine-hole disc golf course which is great for beginners to advanced players to enjoy.

For the history lover, check out the free walking tour of the Half Mile of History in Downtown Tyler. The Half Mile of History resulted from a recommendation that came out of the Tyler 21 planning process whose goal is to pay tribute to people, places, and events that have contributed to the rich history of Tyler and Smith County.

This is a permanent, outdoor, half-mile loop that surrounds the square in the heart of Downtown Tyler. Stone plaques are placed in the sidewalk along the Half Mile of History to commemorate significant people, places, or events in the areas of areas agriculture, architecture, arts/culture, aviation, business, community service, education, entertainment/media, industry, invention/innovation, law, medicine, oil/gas, philanthropy, religion, science, sports, and transportation. Currently there are 53 markers.

There will be a Half Mile of History marker unveiling, April 24th 11am at Gallery Main Street, 110 E. Erwin St., Downtown Tyler. You can take a free walking tour around Downtown to see the markers as well as pick up literature on the trail.

Also, in the name of Historic Preservation, May 12th, The Amazing Preservation Race in Downtown will help celebrate National Historic Preservation month and allow participants to experience Tyler’s rich heritage. Watch their Facebook page for details.

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At Cowan Center: “The Wizard of Oz” April 21st

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The Cowan Center is located at 3900 University Blvd. on the UT Tyler campus. Tickets are available at the box office, by calling (903)566-7424, or go to cowancenter.org. Upcoming productions are:

April 21st (7:30pm) – “The Wizard of Oz” will be presented at the Cowan Center. There truly is no place like home! The entire family will be captivated as they travel down the Yellow Brick Road and beyond with Dorothy, Toto, and their friends the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow in this lavish production, featuring breathtaking special effects, dazzling choreography, and classic songs. Tickets are $37-$72.

April 28th (7:30pm) – Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 will be presented at the Cowan Center. The East Texas Symphony will close their season with Beethoven’s monumental Symphony No. 9.  The Orchestra will be joined by ETSO Chorus, UT Tyler Concert Chorale, and Patriot Singers, and a quartet of soloists.  The concert also features the ETSO premieres of Handel’s Zadok the Priest and Brahms’ Nanie.  It’s a grand evening of choral music ending the season on a high note.

May 10th (7:30pm) – The Celtic Women will be presented at the Cowan Center. This global phenomenon started on a winter Dublin night in 2004. The idea was conceived to create a musical ensemble featuring a selection of exceptional classically and traditionally trained Irish female musicians. Tickets are $42-$77.

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Around East Texas

Calling All Poets, April 21st

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The East Texas Spoken Word Invitational Competition

The East Texas Spoken Word Invitational is an ‘East Texas poets only’ competition and will be held Saturday, April 21st, 7:30-9:30pm at El Guapo Records, 257 S. Broadway Ave., Downtown Tyler.

On this night, come celebrate International Poetry Month in a family-friendly space. At this collective community gathering, the featured poet will be Aaron Dunn, author of the new collection “Poetry For Your Sake.” Aaron will be reciting works which will be available for purchase.

There will be 12 poets selected for his annual spoken word event. Prizes will be awarded. Poets can enter the competition for $10. There is free admission for any audience member.

Tickets are available at eventbrite.com > East Texas Spoken Word Invitational. To participate, you must have an eventbrite ticket.

Seating is limited. For more info call or text (972)704-5001 or go to mikeguinn.biz.

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Downtown

Liberty Hall: Bill Anderson in Concert

Country Music Hall of Famer Bill Anderson in concert this weekend!


Liberty Hall is hosting a variety of upcoming events. Liberty has something for all ages! Liberty Hall is located at 103 E. Erwin St., Tyler. Tickets are available online at libertytyler.com.


April 20th (7pm) – Bill Anderson in Concert – Country Music Hall of Famer, Bill Anderson, has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry sine 1961. One of the most popular, most enduring entertainers of our time, he’s known, in fact as “Whispering Bill,” a nickname hung on him years ago as a result of his breathy voice and his warm, soft approach to singing a country song. For tickets call (866)710-8942. Tickets start at $40.

April 21st (8pm) – Mouse & The Traps – After more than 50 years together, Mouse & the Traps continue to be one of the best examples of “Texas Rock & Roll.” Formed in Tyler, Texas in 1965, Mouse, Nardo, Dave & Larry continue to give the public just what they want – great rock and roll. Whether you remember “Public Execution,” “Hit the Bricks,” or not, Mouse & The Traps has something for everyone. Tickets are $20-$25.

May 10th (7pm) – Twitty & Lynn: Grandchildren of Conway & Loretta in Concert – Tayla Lynn grew up in the heart of Tennessee and started singing with her grandmother at an early age. Tre Twitty, the grandson of the late Conway Twitty, is a remarkable young talent and will perform as well. For tickets call (866)710-8942. Tickets start at $30.

June 27th (7pm) – Country Music Hall of Famer Connie Smith – In 1964, Connie Smith recorded the Bill Anderson-written “Once a Day.” Issued as her first single, it spent eight weeks at #1. She also cut darkly personal songs, including “Ribbon of Darkness” and “The Last Letter.” For tickets call (866)710-8942. Tickets start at $40.

July 20th (7pm) – “Sail On: The Beach Boys Tribute” is a show based out of Nashville, TN, that focuses on performing songs by America’s Band, The Beach Boys, to sheer perfection. The show includes over 30 well-known hits. Members of Sail On have performed with Brian Wilson’s band, The Zombies, Earth Wind and Fire, Cheap Trick, Mark Lindsay. Tickets are $20.

August 11th (8pm) – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band will visit Liberty once again! They are a modern bluegrass band that plays and sings the songs of The Beatles. Performing some of the very best music composed by Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison, beloved songs are presented with instruments you normally wouldn’t expect to hear. Tickets are $20.

August 16th (7pm) – The Bellamy Brothers – Best-known for the easy rolling, ‘70s Southern soft rock classic “Let Your Love Flow,” the Bellamy Brothers are the most successful duo in country music history, consistently climbing into the upper reaches of the Billboard country charts during the ‘80s, including “Redneck Girl,” “If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me,” ‘“You Ain’t Just Whistlin’ Dixie,” and “Dancin’ Cowboys.” For tickets call (866)710-8942. Tickets start at $40.

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