For more than 60 years, the folks of Southeastern North Carolina have been throwing the best party in the South and you’re invited! There’s something for everyone among our community’s rich array of artwork, gardens, history and culture.
The North Carolina Azalea Festival is Wilmington’s annual community celebration and the largest festival of its kind in the state. Founded in 1948, the Azalea Festival has emerged as Wilmington’s premier event.
Each April, a full week of natural beauty, big-name entertainment, festive galas, fun family events and Southern hospitality come together to showcase the charms of the Wilmington area. For community pride and springtime pageantry, the North Carolina Azalea Festival has no equal!
The Festival’s concerts, fairs and special events are viewed by more than one million people each year, in person and through media coverage. More than 200,000 are estimated to attend the annual two-day street fair, while more than 100,000 gather to watch the Festival parade. Each event is a celebration, beginning with the traditional arrival of Queen Azalea at the official opening of the five-day event. Stars glitter throughout town as Southern belles and their escorts promenade through lush gardens at the annual garden party. Everywhere the blooming azaleas offer colorful testimony to the rich heritage of coastal Carolina.
The Festival is a great source of local pride, with the entire community involved in displaying Wilmington to the world in its finest colors. More than 1,000 volunteers are required to stage over 50 events ranging from concerts to art shows, a street fair with interactive displays, home and garden tours, a parade, special exhibits, a circus and a variety of other entertainment and events.