2018 Azalea Festival

NC-Azalea-Festival

North Carolina Azalea Festival AzaleasThe North Carolina Azalea Festival has been throwing the best party in the south for over 70 years!

The Azalea Festival has several events that cover a period of five days – April 11th – 15th. Events include street fairs, concerts, coin shows, boxing matches, art shows, a parade, and tours of homes and gardens. The main event of the festival is the garden tour that highlights the Wilmington area’s most beautiful gardens.

The Azalea Festival began in 1948 as an idea of Dr. W. Houston Moore, M.D. Dr. Moore held a meeting in Wilmington’s Chamber of Commerce with leading civil club representatives to discuss and begin planning for the first Azalea Festival. The festival would take place in April 1948 and would serve the purpose of showcasing the beauty of the local gardens such as Airlie Gardens, Orton Gardens, and Greenfield Gardens. The first sidewalk show was also held in 1953 and has continued as a tradition since.

North Carolina Azalea Festival BellesA unique tradition held by the Azalea Festival is the Belles. The belles are young ladies serve as hostesses and guides to the gardens in the area. They wear antebellum attire and serve as a traditional accent of the NC Azalea Festival. To become an Azalea Belle, one must apply for the position; however, precedence is given to those girls who are either daughters or granddaughters of Cape Fear Garden Club members. The number of belles needed for each year is dependent upon the size of the gardens in the tour.

The Azalea Festival is a local favorite of Wilmingtonians and visitors alike. There’s an event for everyone. This year’s festival begins April 11th and goes through April 15th. Tickets and more information can be found on the Azalea Festival’s website www.ncazaleafestival.org

Azalea Festival 2015 from Blueberry Creative on Vimeo.

Complete Schedule of Events:

Children’s Tea: March 18th, 2018

The Azalea Children’s Tea is an annual event hosted by the Cape Fear Volunteer Center.

The 2018 theme for the Azalea Children’s Tea is UNDER THE SEA!  Join us at Cape Fear Community College’s Union Station in Daniel’s Hall (top floor of Union Station), as we dive under the sea for a Children’s Tea!

The Azalea Children’s Tea is truly an enchanted experience. With the theme changing each year, it is like stepping into a different fairy tale every time. In attendance at this event are the Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Belles, as well as pageant queens and princesses. The Azalea Festival Princess and her Court are in attendance as well. Proceeds benefit the operations of the Cape Fear Volunteer Center whose mission is to: Build and maintain an organization capable of meeting the needs of the non-profit community. We provide trained volunteers, resources, and processes that stimulate effective solutions for the New Hanover County Area. Some of our programs include Big Buddy, Kids Voting, Port City Social Club.

Juried Art Show and Sale: April 1st, 2018- April 15th, 2018

Over 100 North Carolina and national artists will present fine paintings and 3D art creations at the 36th Annual Juried Spring Art Show and Sale.  This “Official Art Show” of the North Carolina Azalea Festival, created by the Wilmington Art Association, is a long-standing tradition within this NC Festival.

Azalea Sweep- April 1st: April 7, 2018 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

he Azalea Sweep is an event that takes place prior to the North Carolina Azalea Festival. Officers, committee members, and volunteers get together and clean various places where the Azalea Queen will visit during her reign. Afterwards, there is a volunteer after-party with food and refreshments to celebrate the hard work of our volunteers!

Youth Art Contest Presented by Coastal Children’s Services: April 11 – April 15

The North Carolina Azalea Festival Youth Art Contest Presented by Coastal Children’s Services is an annual art contest showcasing the amazing artistic talents of the youth in our community. Each year over 300 area public, private, and home-schooled elementary, middle school, (and new in 2018 – high school!) students submit their artwork to the contest, illustrating the traditions of the North Carolina Azalea Festival that mean the most to them. The winning artists (and second and third place) in all divisions receive various notable prizes, and some schools are even treated to a visit from the Azalea Festival Official Artist.  Top place artists in each division will have their work showcased in the Azalea Festival Souvenir Book, and are invited to Raleigh to attend the Governor’s Press Conference with the Azalea Festival entourage.  The Top 15 entries in each division are exhibited during the Azalea Festival at the Community Arts Center in the Historic Hannah Block USO Building. These artists also receive a complimentary ticket to the April Thalian Association Children’s Theatre (TACT) production.

High School Writing Contest:  April 11 – April 15th, 2018

The North Carolina Azalea Festival introduced a new contest in 2017, the High School Writing Contest, in an effort to reach out to more youth in the greater Wilmington area.   High School students from New Hanover, Pender, and Brunswick counties are invited to submit either a descriptive essay or poem using the prompt:  “Which traditions of the North Carolina Azalea Festival mean the most to you or the Wilmington, North Carolina community?”  Many thoughtful, interesting, and creative entries are received and judged by a team lead by local and well-renowned author, and a member of the 1958 Azalea Festival Queen’s Court, Nan Graham.  Winners and finalists are selected from each category and receive prizes from the Azalea Festival, the Lower Cape Fear Coin Club, and presenting sponsor Coastal Children’s Services.

North Carolina Azalea Festival QueenQueen’s Coronation: April 11, 2018 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

The Queen’s Coronation is an annual event where the Queen is officially crowned the North Carolina Azalea Festival Queen Azalea. In attendance are the Festival Celebrity Guests as well as: City Officials, Board Members, and Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Belles.  After the Coronation, we have an exclusive free Meet and Greet with all of our celebrities and the Queen…this is your chance to meet the Queen and the Celebrity Guests.

Brigade Boys & Girls Club Community Visit- April 12th

Each year the Azalea Festival Queen Azalea, Celebrities, and Official Party visit a community organization to help spread the Festival spirit. Thank you to the children, staff, and Brigade Club Board of Directors for making it such a fun visit.

Since 1896, the Brigade Boys & Girls Club has been in the forefront of youth development in the Wilmington area, working with young people from disadvantaged economic, social and family circumstances. The Club offers daily access to a broad range of programs in five core program areas: Character and Leadership Development; Education and Career Development; Health and Life Skills; The Arts; and Sports, Fitness and Recreation. Today the Club servers over 2,300 youth, grades K-12, in New Hanover, Onslow and Pender Counties.

Celebrity Reception: April 12th

The Celebrity Reception provides sponsors of the Festival a close and personal opportunity to see and meet Queen Azalea, Celebrity Guests, and other Festival Dignitaries.  A relaxing luncheon on sprawling country club grounds, this is a great way to start the festivities!

The Celebrity Reception is a private function for partners of the Azalea Festival.

School Visit: April 12th

Each year the Azalea Festival Queen Azalea, Celebrities, and Official Party visit a local school to share the Festival spirit.  The school works year-long to prepare a program and showcase their school pride to our Festival special guests.

Hospital Visit: April 12th

Each year the Azalea Festival Queen Azalea, Celebrities, and Official Party visit the Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital to help spread the Festival spirit.

Billy Currington with Drake White and Kenton Bryant

Billy Currington’s latest album bears the breezy title Summer Forever, but the talented Georgia native has spent more than a decade in the spotlight proving he’s truly a man for all seasons. Possessing one of the smoothest and most distinct voices in any genre of music, Currington is equally skilled at delivering upbeat summertime anthems as well as exploring the complexities of life and love with a poignant ballad. On Summer Forever, Currington’s sixth studio album, he brings both with a collection of songs that will take the listener on a riveting musical journey and leave them breathless at the end of the ride.

Since his self-titled debut album bowed on Mercury Records in 2003, Currington has scored eleven career No. 1 singles, most recently, “Don’t Hurt Like It Used To.” His other hits that reached the No. 1 spot include such memorable songs as “Good Directions,” “Let Me Down Easy,” “Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right,” “People Are Crazy,” “That’s How Country Boys Roll,” “Hey Girl,” and “We Are Tonight.” Over the years, the self-effacing Georgia boy has amassed an impressive list of accolades. He won the “Hottest Video of the Year” honor at the fan-voted CMT Music Awards for “Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right” in 2006. The same year, he received an ACM nod for Top New Male Vocalist. His hit duet with Shania Twain, “Party for Two,” earned nominations from both the CMA and ACM. “People Are Crazy” took Currington’s already hot career to another level. He earned Grammy nominations for Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song in addition to being nominated for Single and Song of the Year from the Country Music Association.

Currently, Drake White and Kenton Bryant are scheduled to open for Billy Currington at the Azalea Festival Main Stage.

Airlie Luncheon Garden Party: North Carolina Azalea Festival Garden PartyApril 13th

The premier event in Wilmington, the Airlie Luncheon Garden Party is one you can’t miss! Join us and 2,500 of our closest friends as we kick off Spring with big hats, seersucker, bow ties, and the networking event of the year all on the beautiful grounds of Airlie Gardens. Come early so you don’t miss the Citadel Summerall Guards performance!

The Airlie Luncheon Garden Party is a private function for partners of the Azalea Festival.

Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Garden Tour: April 13th to 15th

The Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Garden Tour © is sponsored by the Cape Fear Garden Club, Inc. The tour has been featured in SOUTHERN LIVING and is one of the longest-running and most popular garden tours in the South. Profits from the Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Garden Tour© are reinvested in the community as beautification and horticultural grants within New Hanover County, scholarships at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and Cape Fear Community College, and conservation efforts at Battery Island, a National Audubon Society bird sanctuary. The club is rapidly approaching $1.2 million in donations to the community in the past 60 years.  For more information about the club, please visit www.capefeargardenclub.org.

Gardens are open 10:00 am until 6:00 pm daily and children under 12 are admitted free with a paid adult. Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Belles© will welcome visitors to each garden throughout the three-day tour. Tickets are $25.00 and can be used for all three days.

North Carolina Azalea Festival Street FairWaterfront Street Fair: April 13th to 15th

The North Carolina Azalea Festival Waterfront Street Fair Presented by Wells Fargo is a free, family event located in downtown Wilmington on Water, Front, Market, and 2nd Streets. Vendor booths cover the entire stretch of the Waterfront Street Fair, and there are many activities. Vendors include face painting, jewelry (made from sea glass to antique buttons), t-shirts, and photography, but there are also new vendors offering wine, hot sauces, candles, and local honey. The food vendors have the staples- funnel cakes, fresh made lemonade, gyros, kettle corn and ice cream.Boxing – April 8th & 9th

The North Carolina Azalea Festival Boxing Tournament showcases some of the finest boxers from the National and International level of competition & from the military branches.

Queen Azalea & VIP Celebrity Guests have been coming to the event since 1978. The event is sponsored by the North Carolina Azalea Festival, Friends of Boxing, and NC Amateur Boxing Association. The tournament is open to all states and all boxers who love to come to Wilmington and enjoy the excitement of the North Carolina Azalea Festival.

Boxers age 8-16 and 17-34 and Master Boxer 35-up compete in six division from 55lb-201lb+.

Participation in the past has come from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, and more from around the country.

After Garden Get Down: April 13 @ 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

The After Garden Get Down at Bluewater is a fun dockside party open to the public immediately following the Airlie Luncheon Garden Party.  Guests are invited to Bluewater’s waterfront bar & patio to enjoy live music, food and drink specials, and the best view on the Intracoastal.  Attendees also receive a special guest appearance by the Queen Azalea herself!

Boxing Tournament: April 14 – April 15

The North Carolina Azalea Festival Boxing Tournament showcases some of the finest boxers from the National and International level of competition & from the military branches. Boxers age 8-16 and 17-34 and Master Boxer 35-up compete in six division from 55lb-201lb+. Participation in the past has come from: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, and more from around the country.

Queen Azalea & VIP Celebrity Guests have been coming to the event since 1978. The event is sponsored by the North Carolina Azalea Festival, Friends of Boxing, and NC Amateur Boxing Association. The tournament is open to all states and all boxers who love to come to Wilmington and enjoy the excitement of the North Carolina Azalea Festival.

Coin Show: April 14th & 15th

A fun-filled, family event! Children are given free foreign coins to learn about currency and foreign countries, and more than 30 dealers from several surrounding states are on hand to appraise, buy, sell and trade coins, currency, and other numismatic items. If you have a special coin, medal, gold, silver or paper money that you want to know more about, or you just want to see some of the beautiful coins on display, come visit the coin show, have fun and find out!

Historic Home Tour: April 14th to 15th

The North Carolina Azalea Festival Home Tour is an annual event held by the Historic Wilmington Foundation. Proceeds from the Home Tour will advance the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s efforts to protect and preserve the irreplaceable historic resources of Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear region. Since 1966, the foundation has successfully saved more than 200 historic properties from demolition

North Carolina Azalea Festival Fireworks

Patrons’ Party Gala: April 14th

The Patrons’ Party Gala is the grand finale for sponsors of the Azalea Festival.  A black-tie event filled with wonderful food displays and dancing to the sounds of the hottest national party bands, this is our chance to thank all of our sponsors for their continued support.

Riverwalk Shag Contest on the Banks of the Cape Fear: April 14th

The North Carolina Azalea Festival hosts the Riverwalk Shag Contest during the North Carolina Azalea Festival! Join us for raffles, vendors, shag demonstrations, line dancing, and more! Children five and under are free with adult admission.

Waterfront Street Fair Multicultural Stage: April 14th & April 15th

The Multicultural Stage Presented by Piedmont Natural Gas is a FREE multicultural, family-friendly celebration that showcases different cultures flourishing here in the Greater Cape Fear Region. You will marvel at the authentic costumes, dance, and music of some of our best ethnic performing groups and bands. Our Waterfront Street Fair Multicultural Stage line-up features contemporary and classical music from China, the Middle East, Mexico, Polynesia, Hawaii, Japan, Latin America, Ireland, and many more.

PARADE: We also have a Multicultural element in our Parade on the streets of historic downtown Wilmington on Saturday morning of the Festival. Look for the “Multicultural March of Nations” which features multiple ethnic marchers, performers, and band members dressed in authentic traditional costumes and a float draped with International flags.

MGC Parade Mile: April 14th 8:30 am – 9:00 am

Local law firm McAngus Goudelock & Courie partners with Go Time and the North Carolina Azalea Festival to put on a one of a kind road mile race that takes place ahead of the North Carolina Azalea Festival Parade. The course is an out and back through a portion of the parade route on 3rd street starting and finishing in front of the Parade Reviewing Stand of the North Carolina Azalea Festival Parade.

Proceeds from the 2018 race will benefit The Harrelson Center, and MGC will select a different charity for the race to benefit each year.

Parade: April 14th 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

The 71st North Carolina Azalea Festival Parade will take place on Saturday, April 14th, 2018 – we hope to see you there!

The Azalea Festival Parade continues to be one of Southeastern North Carolina’s largest annual event, with over 100,000 viewers each year. Our traditional parade route flows right through the heart of Historic downtown Wilmington. Floats, marching units and bands, clowns and horses, all highlighted by visiting celebrities, Queen Azalea and her court, and the Azalea Festival Princess await you!

North Carolina Azalea Festival Cultural Fair

Waterfront Street Fair Children’s Area: April 14th 10:00 am – April 15th 6:00 pm

The Waterfront Street Fair Children’s Area Presented by Wilmington Eye is a family-friendly part of the Street Fair made just for kids! Guests enjoy family-friendly vendors, hands-on activities, and performers on the Wilmington Health Stage.

Old School Concert: April 14th 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Join us for some old school jams featuring the Ying Yang Twins, Chubb Rock, and the Hamiltones with Special Guest Othaz Records!

Tickets increase to $35.00 at the gate.

Ludacris with Childish Major: April 14th 7:00 pm

The multitalented CHRIS “LUDACRIS” BRIDGES can best be described as remarkable. Much more than an entertainer, Ludacris has positioned himself to reach the top of various business platforms as well. He is a positive example and powerful icon. Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges is also far from being done changing the game. Ludacris is able to create, reconstruct, and command anything he attaches his name to. With 17 Grammy nominations, he has had the honor of winning three of them. Ludacris has sold over 19.5 million units in the United States, and approximately 7 million overseas.

Many of his records were followed up with ingenious videos that demonstrated Bridges’ far-reaching imagination and his willingness to stretch the boundaries of what hip-hop videos should look and feel like. With an unrivaled match of lyrical acumen, wit, and imagery, Bridges has solidified himself as one of music’s premier entertainers. Although he’s best known for his infectious tunes, Bridges has shown that he’s equally adept at writing powerful songs with a serious subject matter, including runaways in the song “Runaway Love.” Bridges’ versatility and artistic complexity enabled him to make a seamless transition to acting.

Ludacris with Childish Major will perform at the Azalea Festival Main Stage.

Fireworks: April 14th 9:00 pm – 9:30 pm

A favorite Festival event, the Fireworks are presented over the majestic Cape Fear River on Saturday of the North Carolina Azalea Festival. Come early to pick out your best viewing spot!

Festival Finale: April 15th 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Join Bluewater Grill as they kick off their Waterfront Music Series by hosting the Festival Finale – the last event of the North Carolina Azalea Festival! The Festival Finale is a free, family-friendly event with food, entertainment, and plenty of giveaways. Bluewater takes Sunday Funday to a new level at the best patio party in town!

98.3 The Penguin Presents Dark Star Orchestra: April 15 @ 5:00 pm

98.3 The Penguin Presents Dark Star Orchestra in partnership with the North Carolina Azalea Festival at the beautiful Greenfield Lake Amphitheater. Doors open at 4 pm with showtime at 5 pm. This is an all ages, general admission, rain or shine show.

 

The North Carolina Azalea Festival
P.O. Box 3275
Wilmington, NC 28406
Phone: (910) 794-4650
Visit NC Azalea Festival websiteE-mail: [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

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