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28 March . 2019

The North Carolina Azalea Festival

           With roots spanning more than 70 years, the North Carolina Azalea Festival has become a yearly staple throughout the state. This annual celebration takes place in Wilmington, North Carolina each April to commemorate the floral beauty of the coastal south. Founded in 1948 by Dr. Houston Moore, the establishment of the festival followed the ten year beautification project and transformation of Greenfield Lake as a way to honor the blooming of the local gardens of Greenfield Lake Park, as well as Airlie and Orton Gardens. With the aid of various community groups and city officials, Dr. Moore proposed the idea of the festival with a mission to showcase local artwork, gardens, history and culture.

            The annual festival takes place over the course of five days and is marked with distinct celebrations and events that attract more than 200,000 festival goers to the Wilmington area each year. This year, the celebration takes place from April 3rd until April 7th. The North Carolina Azalea Festival is renowned for its festivities such as a three-day street fair, parade, fireworks display, galas, garden parties, and begins with the crowning of Queen Azalea at the opening each year. The coronation will be held on April 3rd of this year at 3p.m. followed by the renowned Celebrity Reception on April 4th. One of the most notable events throughout the festival week is the Airlie Luncheon Garden Party held Friday of that week. Concerts performed by big name artists take place Friday and Saturday night of the festival and provide a great way for the Wilmington community to come together and celebrate Spring. The three-day street fair -- the festivals largest attraction-- offers a wide array of vendors from food, art, jewelry, clothing and non-profit organizations situated along both Front Street and Water Street and is held from Friday, April 5th to Sunday, April 7th. Festival attendees will see Azalea Belles throughout the festival; these young ladies are adorned in traditional Antebellum attire with full hoop skirts, corset and elaborate parasols, and act as liaisons of many of the festivals events including the renowned garden parties held throughout Wilmington and Wrightsville beach.

            The RiverLights Community is proud to be a patron sponsor of the festival for the third consecutive year; RiverLights believes in the preservation of the natural beauty that Wilmington has to offer, which is why it has dedicated up to 500 acres of land within the community to remain as natural green space for residents to enjoy. Located less than five miles from Historic Downtown Wilmington, RiverLights residents also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the excitement of the spring celebration each April. The city of Wilmington believes in the continuation of southern tradition and the observance of its native beauty; RiverLights and its residents uphold these same beliefs in a community designed for a fun and active lifestyle along the Cape Fear coast. Visit the RiverLights community today to experience everything the coastal south has to offer and to enjoy the various outdoor festivals that Wilmington provides to celebrate this charming city.