April 12-16, 2023



The Return of the NCAF as an Economic Driver

What a difference a year can make.  In March of 2020 the alarm was sounded throughout the world as the unwarranted pandemia, Covid -19 had made its way to the United States. Our city, along with the nation, was in shock and disbelief.  We had no idea what we were up against and how our lives would be affected.

As the nation was scrambling to figure out a way to protect the country and all our citizens, we had a smaller, more local charge here at the Azalea Festival. We had the task of figuring out a plan for the much anticipated 2020 North Carolina Azalea Festival.

Plans had been in the making for over a year and it was just mere weeks before the Festival’s ribbon cutting. However, the only real choice was to cancel/postpone the 2020 Azalea Festival. Patriots and festival goers were sorely disappointed and emotions were high concerning the decision but it was the only solution. After getting past the disappointment that the activities would not be taking place, the realization set in that the economic impact could be crippling to our city and business.

May 18, 2020 WECT News reported that In 2011, festival organizers and UNCW conducted an economic impact study that estimated the festival generates around $50 million annually. Adjusted for inflation, that’s roughly $57 million in today’s dollars. https://www.wect.com/2020/05/18/canceled-by-covid-loss-azalea-festival-will-cost-cape-fear-economy-millions/

With these figures in mind we knew we were in for a hard economic blow. However, here we are just barely over a year later and we made it through! Was it difficult? YES! But now we have the opportunity to move forward with the 2021 Azalea Festival. So much of the activities are taking place just like in years past, several were a little different and a few have been postponed until next year.  But the bottom line is the Festival is happening – all year long!  We ask that you take part in all the activities, street fairs, concerts, contests, and parades.

Help support our city as we attempt to rebound from 2020.  We would not be able to have a Festival if it wasn’t for all our local supporters like you. So invite your friends and family to participate and celebrate our beautiful city.  You are counting on our community to provide an amazing Azalea Festival and our city is counting on you to help spread the word and enjoy the festivities.  For a complete list of happening visit: https://ncazaleafestival.org/events/

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