April 3-7, 2024

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The North Carolina Azalea Festival’s mission is to be nationally recognized as a showcase for our community’s rich array
of artwork, gardens, history, and culture through recreational, educational and family-oriented events.
The Festival encourages volunteerism and civic participation as it contributes to the region’s economy
and promotes the unique qualities of Wilmington’s river-to-the-sea community.

While the Azalea Festival will continue to showcase the many diverse cultures of our area at every
Azalea Festival, through the new International Blooms program, the Festival will now also specifically
highlight one country each year. This chosen country will be highlighted at various Festival events
through special musical and dance performances, invited guests and groups representing the country,
food and art displays, and more. In efforts to ensure each country is represented authentically, the
Azalea Festival will work with ambassadors and citizens who have that country’s heritage.

The North Carolina Azalea Festival would like to officially announce the Philippines as its honored country for
the 2024 International Blooms program.

About the Philippines

Learn about fiestas in the Philippines! A fiesta is a party everyone is invited to join! Each town, province, or city has their own fiesta to celebrate once a year. These fiestas are usually held to celebrate each area’s designated patron saint or their harvest. Fiestas are always colorful and unique to their own but there is a common denominator for them all – the delicious food! Popular dishes served during fiestas include lechon, adobo, pancit, and fruit salad.

2023 International Blooms Highlights
Mexico

Chef Katsuji Tanabe, of a’Verde Cocina + Tequila Library in Raleigh, NC, was an honored chef and created a special Octopus and Potato Salad at our annual Chefs’ Showcase in January. Katsuji was born in Mexico and immigrated here at the age of 18. 

Guests that attended the Patrons’ Party Gala, were able to check out the Business Growers Million Dollar Margarita Room and and Tequila Tasting Room, in partnership with Codijo Tequila.

The Mexican Deputy Consul General, Antonio Cuesta, was a special Invited Guest at the Festival Parade
and at the opening of the Performing Arts Stage on Saturday. 

Mariachi Viva Mexico, NC performed as the Festival Pre-Parade Entertainment, performed throughout the Parade,
and opened the Performing Arts Stage at the Street Fair!

Representatives from Cape Fear Latinos were invited guests and greeters at the Festival’s Celebrity Reception. Cape Fear Latinos is a non-profit organization with the mission to cultivate the advancement of the Latino community in and around New Hanover County by providing social services and developing programs for the community. 

The Azalea Festival Coin Show featured special Mexican currency at its event Festival weekend.

Banco de México Launches New 20 Peso Polymer Banknote Commemorating 200th Anniversary of Independence from Spain.

The front of the bill depicts when the army of the three “guaranties” (Religion/Catholic Church, Union, and Independence), under the command of Agustin de Iturbide, entered Mexico City on September 27, 1821.

The Reverse side of the bill honors the mangroves so common in Southern Mexico.

The new design incorporates a large, complex transparent window that features two prismatic inks. This security feature changes color when a note is moved, or is seen from a different angle. On the new 20 pesos note, one ink changes from gold to red, while the second ink changes from gold to green. Other anti-counterfeiting features include an integrated magnetic design in the shape of a flower.

Another benefit of the new note is its environmental performance. The notes start life as polymer pellets which are transformed into Propanote™ a bank-grade polymer substrate film, used only for banknotes. Once the banknotes have completed their working life, they can be recycled by turning them back into polymer pellets. These are used for a wide range of products, including packing cages for fruits, and building materials. CCL Secure has a purpose-built recycling center in Zacapu, in the Mexican state of Michoacán.

Don’t forget to check out the Novant Health Performing Arts Stage on Saturday and Sunday to catch a wide array of multicultural performances. You can also catch special performances during the “Parade of Nations” a mini-Parade within the larger Festival Parade!