April 2-6, 2025



Invited Guests
77th Azalea Festival

Elle Graham

Elle Graham is best known for her role as “Nancy Wheeler” in the feature film ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET based on Judy Blume’s beloved book, and “Savannah” in Disney’s mystery-adventure series SECRETS OF SULPHUR SPRINGS.

Gracie Gold

Gracie Gold is a two-time national figure skating champion who represented the United States at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where she won a bronze in the team event and finished fourth in the women’s singles competition, the highest showing among Americans. 

Taylor Loyd

Taylor Loyd, Miss North Carolina 2023, is a student at UNC-Chapel Hill studying Psychology and Music. At the Miss America 2024 Competition, she was a Top Ten Finalist and Talent Winner, and has earned over $35,000 in scholarships since beginning her involvement as a teen. 


Admiral Karl L. Schultz

Schultz is a retired 4-Star Admiral who last served as the 26th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard. His tenure as a flag officer spanned 12 years, and prior to becoming Service Chief, served as the 3-Star Atlantic Area Commander responsible for Coast Guard mission execution from the Rocky Mountains east to the Arabian Gulf. 

Jennifer Vickery Smith

Jennifer  Vickery Smith hosts the popular “Got it From My Momma” podcast, where she shares conversations with mothers of famous entertainers and athletes about family, faith, and fame. Jennifer is the mother of country music artist Connor Smith and works as a reporter, anchor, producer, and print journalist in both entertainment and broadcast news. 

Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones is the 2024 Official Artist of the North Carolina Azalea Festival. A native of eastern North Carolina, oil painter Sharon pays homage to both our rural and coastal areas with her colorful paintings. Shore birds, tobacco barns, historic homes, landscapes, and pet portraits are brought to life with strong composition and color.

2024 Queen's Court

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Abby Britt

Miss Garner

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Taylor Foley

Miss Thomasville

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Sarah Beth Howard

Miss Sandhills

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Jaime Logan

Miss Iredell County

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Hannah Harvey

Miss Metrolina

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Calli McIntyre

Miss Moore County

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Ashley Leonard

Miss Randolph County

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Keelie Jones

Miss Central North Carolina

2024 Keydet Escorts


Robert Slater


Liam Loughlin


Jon Krueger


Colby Slade


Kyle Dargis


Alexander Melvin


Francis Boehling


Conner Ball

Guests to Note

Each year the Azalea Festival highlights a few individuals as Official Invited Guests.
Stars, celebrities, and heroes alike – from afar and right here locally – are honored during Festival events.  

The Festival has hosted the following notable guests (this is just a small sampling!):
Barbara Alyn Woods, Kevin Frazier, President Ronald Reagan, Adrian Wood
Also…Michael Jordan, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Chad Michael Murray, Hilarie Burton, and more!