Rashad and Ripa, Past Queen Azaleas

The North Carolina Azalea Festival began in 1948 with a huge fanfare of festivities. One of the main events was the crowning of Jacqueline White as the very first Azalea Festival Queen Azalea. Although there would be many queens to come, Jacqueline set the standards high and paved the wave for all future queens. One […]

Queen Azalea and Invited Guests Named

The North Carolina Azalea Festival is excited to announce the 74th Queen Azalea, the Azalea Festival Princess, and Invited Guests of the 2021 Azalea Festival. Says Festival President, Deirdre McGlone-Webb, “It is exciting to highlight our invited guests, who all have ties to the wonderful city of Wilmington. While it will be a different experience, […]

Parades to Porches

What do Mardi Gras and the North Carolina Azalea Festival have in common? Well, more than you would think! Both festivals, although founded almost 250 years apart, were created to celebrate the beautiful cities in which they occur. Mardi Gras is known for its numerous elaborate street parades which are scheduled throughout the festival. People […]

Main Stage Concert Tickets On Sale Date Delayed

Ticket ON SALE DATE for All New Customers Due to an overwhelming number of ticket upgrade requests from current Main Stage ticket holders, the North Carolina Azalea Festival has decided to delay the on sale date for its rescheduled shows in August. The new on sale date will be Saturday, March 6th, at 10 am […]

Fun Facts Looking back… 1980-1989

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 […]


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 […]

Fun Facts Looking back 1960-1969….

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 […]

Fun Facts Looking back… 1950-1959

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 […]

We’re Internationally Award-Winning!

International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) and Haas & Wilkerson InsuranceAnnounce the 2019 Pinnacle Award Winners North Carolina Azalea FestivalBrings Home 4 Gold and 3 Silver Awards! Boise, Idaho- The International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) paid tribute to the North Carolina Azalea Festival on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 during the IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Ceremony held […]

Wilmingtonians Among Those Honored at this Year’s Festivities

WILMINGTON, N.C. March 20th, 2019- The North Carolina Azalea Festival is excited to announce Queen Azalea and Invited Guests of the 2019 Azalea Festival.  These guests will be attending multiple events throughout the week of April 3-7, 2019.   2019 Queen Azalea Briana Venskus The North Carolina Azalea Festival’s 2019 Queen Azalea is Briana Venskus, an […]