Victoria Huggins is humbled and thrilled to return to her second home of Wilmington to serve as the 74th Queen Azalea! No stranger to the North Carolina Azalea Festival, Victoria returns as a former member of the Queen’s Court as Miss Wilmington 2016, Miss North Carolina 2017, and former emcee of both the Azalea Children’s Tea and Azalea Festival Princess Scholarship Pageant. As the first former Miss North Carolina to be chosen as Queen Azalea, she counts this opportunity as one of the greatest honors of her lifetime!
A resident of Vass, NC, Victoria has turned her passion into her career as the Manager for the Walks to End Alzheimer’s (Fayetteville and Moore County Region) for the Alzheimer’s Association – Eastern North Carolina Chapter. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Miss North Carolina Organization, Fayetteville Urban Ministries.
Previously, Victoria served for three years as the Community and Media Relations Manager of the Fayetteville Woodpeckers (Class A Minor League Baseball Team), overseeing community presence and partnerships, the founder and director of the team charity, and coordinating media requests.
Victoria represented the Tar Heel State in 2017 as the 80th Miss North Carolina. Traveling over 30,000 miles with over 300 scheduled appearances, she served as a public speaker & philanthropist; from the floor of the legislature in Raleigh, to civic, educational, military, religious, and social groups across North Carolina. Her passion for Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and music therapy captured the attention of local and national leadership, in addition to being featured on FOX News and PEOPLE Magazine. At the 2018 Miss America Competition, Victoria received the Children’s Miracle Network Miracle Maker Award recognizing her efforts to raise over $30 thousand dollars to benefit her state CMN Hospitals.
Nurturing relationships that were cultivated as Miss North Carolina, Victoria continues to serve as a keynote speaker in Alzheimer’s and Dementia conferences across the state, including the launch of the North Carolina Brain Health Registry in conjunction with Duke University’s Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
Prior to her year of service as Miss North Carolina, Victoria was the Morning News Producer for WECT/WSFX in Wilmington, NC. For two years, Victoria worked third shift on “Carolina in the Morning”, juggling her responsibilities behind the scenes in the control booth and in front of the camera as a reporter. In 2016, cheered on in the audience by her WECT & FOX Wilmington crew, Victoria was crowned Miss Wilmington and passionately served as an ambassador to the Port City.
As a singer and actress, Victoria has been honored to grace stages and television screens nationwide through a variety of opportunities: from Screen Gems Studio in Wilmington as a Principal Actress in commercials, traveling as a requested motivational speaker and singer, to being in the Top 100 on “American Idol” at the age of 16, to the stage of McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center in Henderson starring as Belle in their sold-out production of “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” the Broadway Musical in 2018.
Victoria received her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication with a double minor in Music and Religion from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Business Administration online, utilizing her scholarships earned through the Miss America Organization.
Anne Hawthorne grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina and is thrilled and honored to come home to be the North Carolina Azalea Festival Queen Azalea 2020 to celebrate Wilmington and return to her roots. Always following her dreams and supported by her family and friends in Wilmington, she made the move to the Big Apple—NYC after graduating cum laude from East Carolina University, where she performed on Broadway in Fosse with Ben Vereen, Ann Reinking, and Bebe Neuwirth, Pajama Game, The Merry Widow with Placido Domingo, A Christmas Carol with Tim Curry, and as a Radio City Rockette.
Before her success on Broadway, she spent time on the road performing in CATS National Touring Company, Animal Crackers at Arena Stage, DC, where she was Assistant Choreographer to Baayork Lee.
She also performed in Street Scene with Wolff Trapp Opera Co., as well as other regional theaters. Her film credits include Tribal TV series, Realization Inc., A Miracle on Christmas Lake (nominated for AMPIA Best Actress), Dark Hearts, Flirting with Forty, Heart of the Country as actor/producer, Mutant World, Picking Up and Dropping Off, The Other Woman, Undercover Christmas, Hollywood Wives, Simple Revenge.
As a (FOUNDING) partner in Zak Barnett Studios—an acting school in Los Angeles that specializes in entertainment rooted in spirituality and activism—Anne is able to continue her life arts education and share her craft with others.
Although Anne lives in Calgary, Canada with her husband, three children, and golden retriever Jackson, she spends the summer months in Wrightsville Beach so that her family can grow up sharing the same North Carolina traditions and roots that nurtured her throughout her life.