North Carolina Azalea Festival

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April 14 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm

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

The 2018 Parade will be broadcast live on GTV8 (Channel 8 on Time Warner/Spectrum) Saturday, April 14, 2018, at 9:30 am. Direct TV and other TV service providers do not provide this network channel, however, you can stream the Parade live on your phone, computer, or other internet connected devices through GTV8’s website. Click below to view the parade live at 9:30 am on Saturday, April 14, 2018.

Click to View Parade Live!


Azalea Parade Shuttle

Shuttle Service at Independence Mall: Individuals interested in shuttle service to the parade may board the bus at Independence Mall. The staging location at Independence Mall is the same as last year at the Wells Fargo lot. Shuttle service will begin at 7:00 am (or as soon as the first vehicle is loaded) from Independence Mall. The shuttle service will end at the mall at 2:00 pm. Five vehicles (three Gilligs and two shuttles) are required for the shuttle service.  The shuttle service drop off location will be 4th St. (SB) between Chestnut and Princess again this year. This location offers the following:  Close proximity (one block) to the bleachers and parade viewing area (please see enclosed picture).  Drop off location will be on the westbound side of the road so customers will not have to cross the road to proceed to the parade.  The last shuttle will leave downtown at 1:45 pm.Individuals wishing to stay downtown longer than the hours of operation for the shuttle service may use their ticket on Route 202 at the downtown transfer center to return to Independence Mall.

2018 Parade Bleachers Map

General Parade Information

  • Viewing:  Main viewing areas were all along 3rd Street, from Market Street to Bladen Street.  Viewing along the route is always free, though reserved Festival bleacher tickets were available for purchase at the North Carolina Azalea Festival Ticket Office for $5-8 in advance, $7-10 day of.
  • Parking:  Available in all public parking decks downtown; access to the decks is via Chestnut Street only, and only until 8:15 am.  ADA parking is on the corner of Chestnut and 3rd Street, and is accessible via Chestnut Street until 8:15 am.

We are looking forward to next year’s Parade on April 14, 2018!

2017 Parade Photo Gallery

2018 Parade Participation

If you would like to participate in the 2018 Parade our online Registration opens on October 2st 2017.

2018 Parade Registration Here

2018 Parade Volunteer Opportunities

Please sign up through our online registration for volunteering opportunities with the Parade!

Sign Up To Volunteer Here

NEW 2018 Parade Concessions

If you are interested in participating as a concessioner for the Parade, we have a few options and limited space is available for the food and beverage options.  The various options include:

  • Walking Concessions: $150 each.  The walking permits are for the Parade route only.  Each walking permit covers one person only.  Each walker receives one credential badge.
  • Regular Coca-Cola Concession Booth: $150.  (Includes: Coca-Cola 10×10 tent, product supplied at cost and delivered to site, will pick up remaining product after Parade and collect payment for sold product). Can sell prepacked foods like chips, cookies, and candy.
  • Food Concession Booth:  $250.00.  This is for food trucks and food tents that prepare food on site such as bagels, hotdogs, donuts, etc.

If you are interested in more information and rules, please see the registration page here:

Parade Concessions Info & Regulations

***This is only for the during the hours of the Parade from 8am to 12pm in your established location. If you are interested in participating in the Street Fair, please see the Street Fair registration for info:

2018 Street Fair Vendor Registration 


2017 Highlights

The 70th annual North Carolina Azalea Festival Parade was held from 9:30 am to 11:30 am on Saturday, April 8th.  The route traveled north from Market and 3rd Streets straight up 3rd Street and ended at Bladen Street.  The Parade set a new record with four giant character balloons; two helium (Cookie Monster Sponsored by the Wilmington Convention Center, Ward and Smith, P.A., LM Restaurants, New Hanover Regional Medical Center and Hawthorne Residential Partners, and a giant Piñata sponsored by the North Carolina Azalea Festival in honor of the Festival’s Multicultural sector) and two cold air balloons (Baby Smurf sponsored by True Panda and Elmo Sponsored by Collins and Collins Law Offices, PLLC).

The Parade was led by the Marine Corps Band and also showcased several high school bands from across the state.  Other special Parade entries included the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Sudan Shriners Groups, Special guests Peppa Pig from Nick Jr. and Sid the Science Kid from PBS as well as the North Carolina Azalea Festival’s Children’s Art and Writing Contest Winners, Scholarship Pageant Princess Miss Emma Grace Wright, and Queen Azalea Kira Kazantsev and her Court.  Also included this year were the Festival’s Multicultural March of Nations and numerous sponsor floats featuring various groups such as the Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Belles®, UNC- Wilmington, Caroline Dare and Band, Cape Fear Children’s Museum, the Big Buddy Program and more.  Additionally, this year we honored the 70th Anniversary with a special tribute float adorned with past Azalea Festival Scholarship Pageant Princesses from each decade beginning with the 1950’s.

Pre-Parade entertainment consisted of a Parade Mile along the Parade route (starting and ending in front of the Reviewing Stand at City Hall) at approximately 9:00 am.  The Parade itself kicked off at 9:30 am with the National Anthem, a flyover by the Bandit Flight Team Presented by Wilmington International Airport (ILM), and a ribbon cutting at the corner of Market and 3rd Street prior to Parade step off.



April 14
9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Event Categories:
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S 3rd St
S 3rd St
Wilmington, NC 28401 United States
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