WILMINGTON, NC – What started out as a small-town celebration in 1948 has become in 2017 a nationally-recognized event. The salute to the North Carolina Azalea Festival has come in part through the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) and the Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards that the North Carolina Azalea Festival has entered since 2013. In September, the Festival won several awards through the IFEA, including Best New Attendee Service, Best Press/Media Kit, Best Targeted Sponsor Solicitation Proposal, Best Single New Sponsorship Opportunity, and Best Children’s Programming.
Most recently, North Carolina Azalea Festival Exeutive Director, Alison Baringer, has been invited to serve on the IFEA Foundation Board of Directors beginning January 2017. The IFEA Foundation is a long-standing organization with the mission of helping IFEA achieve their vision of a globally united industry and association that supports and enables festival and event professionals all over the world. Baringer is one of several event professionals from U.S. and Canada that will be working to raise the level of professionalism in the industry worldwide.
“We couldn’t be more proud of what this means not only for the North Carolina Azalea Festival, but for the city of Wilmington,” says 2017 Azalea Festival President, Jean A. Lawler. “Members of our community volunteer year-round to bring the Azalea Festival to life, and it’s exciting to see that their labor and dedication has earned such grand recognition.”
The 70th North Carolina Azalea Festival happening April 5-9, 2017 is not only a milestone for the Festival, but also marks Baringers’ twelfth year with the organization.
“I am so honored to be given this opportunity to serve Wilmington on the national and international level,” says Exeutive Director Alison Baringer. “Among those I will be serving with include representatives from the Kentucky Derby Festival, Memphis in May, the City of Ottawa Events Central Branch, and the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The wealth of knowledge brought back to Wilmington and the Azalea Festival from these amazing events, as well as the national attention the Azalea Festival will be receiving, is a direct testament of growth in our mission of becoming nationally-recognized. We can’t thank our Festival supporters enough for helping us with these achievements!”
About the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA)
The International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) is The Premiere Association Supporting and Enabling Festival & Event Professionals Worldwide. In partnership with global affiliates under the umbrellas of IFEA Africa, IFEA Asia, IFEA Australia, IFEA Europe, IFEA Latin America, IFEA Middle East (MENASA), and IFEA North America, the organization’s common vision is for “A Globally United Industry that Touches Lives in a Positive Way through Celebration.” The Association offers the most complete source of ideas, resources, information, education and networking for festival and event professionals worldwide. For more information on the IFEA, go to www.ifea.com.
About the North Carolina Azalea Festival
Since its inception in 1948, the North Carolina Azalea Festival has blossomed into an extended weekend celebration that attracts more than 300,000 people and generates more than $51 million for the local economy. The Festival showcases our community’s rich array of artwork, gardens, history and culture through recreational, educational and family-oriented events.
The North Carolina Azalea Festival Thanks Its Sponsors
Hilton Wilmington Riverside
New Hanover Regional Medical Center
BlueCross and BlueShield of NC
Coastal Children’s Services
MassMutual Financial Group
North Carolina Ports
Parkway of Wilmington
SEPI Engineering & Construction