April 2-6, 2025



The Journey Begins: A look into Festival Week with Grace Tippett

Everyone always says time flies when your having fun, and the week of the 2018 Azalea Festival was a perfect representation of that. My favorite time of the year in Wilmington was over in the blink of an eye, but it was a whirlwind I will cherish forever!

The week started off Tuesday afternoon with an exciting interview with Randy Aldridge on WWAY! The interview was so much fun. I absolutely loved the chance to get a behind the scenes look at the broadcast journalism world! I would have to say that seeing myself on TV was pretty cool too.

Wednesday was so much fun for my court and I. The first event of the day was the Queen’s Tea. At the tea, we got to smile for pictures and sign autographs – which by the way made us feel like total celebrities. After tea, we walked down to the riverfront and I had the privilege of helping to crown our gorgeous Queen Azalea Beth Troutman.

Thursday was the busiest and most fulfilling day of them all. It started out with a trip to Blair Elementary School where the students, who were dressed in their handmade bowties and azalea pins, gave us an amazing performance that showcased all of their talents and made my heart so happy. I even had the cutest little escort. Next, we went to the Celebrity Luncheon where I said a few words about all of my excitement and said a huge thank you to Azalea Festival Youth Committee, my wonderful court, and my sponsors for their support. After the luncheon, we headed to New Hanover Regional Medical Center where I got to visit patients, tour their amazing facility, and play with the cutest therapy dogs. Our last stop was at the Brigade Boys and Girls Club where we got to play board games with the children and have a dance party – they definitely showed me some cool moves. Thursday night was the Billy Currington concert and I had the chance to meet him!

Cheesing with my bright white smile from Renaissance Dental Studios at the Celebrity Luncheon!
My court and I at the Garden Party!



On Friday our first stop of the day was the Azalea Garden Tour Ribbon Cutting put on by the Cape Fear Garden Club. All of the gorgeous Azalea Belles were in attendance and after the ceremony, we had the yummiest cookies and lemonade. All of the cookies were decorated so spectacularly, my favorite was one iced in the shape of a crown! After the ribbon cutting was the Garden Party! Everything about the garden party was extraordinary and I loved getting to experience it in my super fun dress from my favorite dress sponsor Camille’s of Wilmington. My court and I had so much fun taking pictures at the event and getting ice cream afterward. Friday night was the 38 Special concert. My court and I had the opportunity to meet the band before the show and we had so much fun jamming to their music.

Saturday was the parade! Riding on the gorgeous float and waving to everyone on the streets was absolutely spectacular. My court and I loved getting the chance to pull out our evening gowns from the pageant night again. After the parade, we went to the Coin Show where were learned so much about the history of the coins and even got to mine for gold. Saturday night was the Patron’s Party. I had so much fun in my gorgeous ball gown from Camille’s of Wilmington and loved getting on the dance floor with Miss North Carolina Victoria Huggins and the Queen’s Court and their escorts!

The officers let us pose on their motorcycles!

              The week of the 2018 Azalea Festival was the most exciting week of my life and I absolutely loved every second of it. I would like to thank the Azalea Festival Officers and Official Party for making my court and I feel like royalty every step of the way. Thank you Renaissance Dental Studios for providing me with my bright white smile and helping me share my joy with everyone I met! I am so excited to see where the rest of this year takes me and I cannot wait to keep you guys updated. xoxo !!

Queen Beth Troutman and I at the Patron’s Party!


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