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Friday, March 16, 2012

North Carolina Azaleas Usher in Spring

Azaleas, azaleas everywhere! It must be springtime in Wilmington, North Carolina and its island beaches! Each year in April when the landscape is dominated by thousands of brilliant pink, white, and purple azaleas, Wilmington pays homage to these dazzling flowers during the annual North Carolina Azalea Festival, a five-day celebration that ushers in spring with Southern hospitality and fanfare. 
A springtime tradition since 1948, the Festival (April 11-15 this year) celebrates the rich history, arts, and culture of the region. 

Highlights of the N.C. Azalea Festival include the Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Belles dressed in period hoop skirts, an elaborate parade, juried arts and craft shows, a traveling circus, concerts, fireworks, and a street fair with exhibits, vendors, live entertainment, and kids’ activities. 
Signature events include the Cape Fear Garden Club’s Azalea Garden Tour (April 13-15), one of the South’s longest-running and most popular garden tours. The 59th annual Tour’s theme, “Follow the Blooms,” showcases 13 public and private gardens that includes a mix of established and new landscapes. 
The 2012 Azalea Home Tour (April 14-15) showcases nine private homes and a church of historical and architectural interest. 
A two-hour parade on Saturday morning in Downtown Wilmington features azalea-adorned floats, marching bands, clowns, show animals, and celebrities.

Music plays a major role in every N.C. Azalea Festival. This year’s headline acts are country music newcomer and reigning “American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery, and the award-winning popular recording artist Kenny Loggins.  
For a N.C. Azalea Festival schedule and concert tickets, visit www.ncazaleafestival.org or call 910-794-4650. 
For a free 2012 Official Visitors Guide to Wilmington, North Carolina and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach, call 1-866-266-9690, email visit@wilmingtonandbeaches.com, or visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com for spring specials, experiences, and events.  
For more information about top events in North Carolina take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in North Carolina