The Azalea Festival is a highly anticipated and celebrated cultural event held in Wilmington, NC every year. “The five-day festival celebrates local art, floral gardens and the history of Wilmington.” It features over one hundred southern Azalea Belles, an annual Azalea Tea, the Queen’s Coronation, visiting Citadel Cadets, an Azalea Parade, NC Scholarship Pageant, a variety of celebrities, local arts, music (with NC’s Scotty McCreery this year!), food, and amazing garden and home tours in historic downtown Wilmington and around town. With all of this and so much more, it’s a bona fide, five-day whirlwind of southern culture!
The Garden Club and Azalea Festival seamstresses create new designs for the Azalea Belle gowns every year. The dresses are then voted on by the community of Wilmington and the local favorite becomes the featured Azalea Belle Community Gown for that year. For 2012, Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Belle Ms. Margaret Ann Thurston will be wearing the “Margaret Ann” Azalea Belle Community Dress by Kay Godwin.
I had the honor of participating in the Azalea Festival, first in marching band and then as an Azalea Belle. I am a girly girl and it is definitely an experience that I will never forget, but I will always appreciate the Azalea Festival for highlighting the local culture, history, and arts of Wilmington, North Carolina. The community comes together in a joyous celebration under a common love, understanding, and exploration of southern tradition.
The festival will be held from April 11-15, 2012. Check out the festival website if you would like to learn more! http://ncazaleafestival.org/