April 12-16, 2023



So How Did a Flowering Shrub Get Its Own Festival?

In our beautiful state of North Carolina you can find the native azaleas plants growing wild from the Blue Ridge Mountains to just before our sandy shores. According to Southern Living, the azalea is the number one must-have plant in the South. Rhododendrons and azaleas are the south’s favorite shrubs.
Both belong to the genus Rhododendron, which comprises more than 800 species and 10,000 named selections.

We are very proud of this lovely flowering shrub as it brings color to our state’s landscape and lets us southerners know spring is upon us. It is our signal to begin working on our lawns and preparing for summer.

Once you see these gorgeous budding shrubs, you may just decide you need to have them in your home garden. But don’t think you can just go and remove them from the wild, because digging them up in the wild is illegal. So the best place to begin is with a local nursery where they can explain the different varieties and which one would grow best in your soil.

Here in Wilmington, NC the azaleas begin blooming early April and can continue to bloom through early May. During this time we have the most amazing weather. The mornings and nights are cool, the days are warm and free of humidity and the skies are the Carolina blue that songs are written about. There’s not a better time to host the annual North Carolina Azalea Festival. In years past the Festival is held over five days near the beginning of April; the dates fluctuates to avoid Easter weekend. However, due to Covid restrictions, this year the Festival events will be spread out over five months, April through August. This allows visitors and locals alike even more opportunities to celebrate our beautiful city and community. So don’t think you have missed this year’s Festival…because we are actually just getting started!

Check out all the events that will be taking place throughout the summer. Then mark your calendar and come celebrate with us! Hope to see you soon.
For more information visit: https://ncazaleafestival.org/events/

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