1980 The Clyde Beatty/Cole Bros. circus joins the festival lineup for the first time. Dionne Warwick and Pete Fountain provide the music. 1981 Festival headliner Bob Hope visits the festival while Days of Our Lives stars Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes attend and begin a long association with Wilmington. 1982 Hometown hero Michael Jordan, assist…

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A great place to visit, an even better place to live. The area is referred to as the Cape Fear Region. The name comes Sir Richard Grenville, from the 1585 expedition as he was sailing to Roanoke Island his ship became trapped behind the cape. Some of the crew were afraid they would wreck, giving…

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1970 Concerts in 1970 were the big news: Country star George Hamilton IV, Yackety Sax instrumentalist Boots Randolph, the Dells and former Miss America Vonda Kay Van Dyke all preformed. 1971 The excitement was focused around the military in 1971.  The Army’s Golden Knights parachute into the festival and the U.S. Navy had made appearances…

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1960 Merv Griffin is emcee. Ronald Reagan and Andy Griffith are back, along with British character actor Charles Laughton. A local kid named Charlie Daniels plays the Ocean Plaza Ballroom at Carolina Beach. 1961 Shelly Fabares, teen co-star of TV’s Donna Reed Show reigns as queen, and a year later records Johnny Angel which becomes…

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CLOWNING AROUND IN 1968 Emmett Kelly Jr completed his 4-year apprenticeship in 1964.  He was then hired by Kodak to be apart of New York City Worlds’ Fair Kodak Pavilion from1964-1965.  For the following four years, Kelly toured as an Ambassador of Goodwill for Kodak. In 1968 Hugh Morton the founder and organizer of the…

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1952 Janet Leigh drops out as Azalea queen (reportedly at the insistence of husband Tony Curtis) and is hastily replaced by actress Cathy Downs  (My Darling Clementine), whose husband – actor Joe Kirkwood Jr. – happens to be playing in the Azalea Open.  1954 It was reported that Azalea Queen Ella Raines wore a crown…

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The Azalea Festival is proud to be presenting four amazing bands to the Main Stage for the 73rd North Carolina Azalea Festival.  April 2 @ 7:00 pm Aaron Lewis Aaron has more than two-decade career, topping the charts as the frontman of Hard Rock Heroes and now his second act as a hit artist on…

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