April 12-16, 2023



Three Parades And One More To Go

Last weekend I had the awesome opportunity to participate in three Christmas parades: Carolina Beach Christmas Parade, Oak Island Christmas Parade, and Downtown Wilmington Christmas Parade.

All three parades were a “little” chilly, but extremely exciting. I really liked how the parades were local. My friends were able to come support me, and I saw many people I knew. In fact, I even saw some runners that I coach for Kids Run the Nation! They recognized me even though I had a crown on my head and was not dressed in running clothes.

Oak Island Parade
Oak Island Parade

Something interesting about the Oak Island parade is that there were more dogs there than I have ever seen in my entire life. Some parade elves were even handing out doggie treats! A huge thank you to my friend Amy Hendrick who was able to attend the Oak Island parade with me; sharing experiences with great friends and family makes creating memories even more spectacular.

There was a little rain at the Wilmington parade, but that did not hold the parade back! As soon as I passed the news broadcasters, they turned around the camera and got me on the news for all those people avoiding the rain and watching at home.

I would like to give a special shout-out to my mom, Carol, for going with me to every parade, being a professional car decorator, and for constantly supporting me. Thank you Dad, for coming and standing in the cold to capture the best pictures and videos. Thank you to Jean Lawler, the North Carolina Azalea Festival President, for taking the time to drive me in the Carolina Beach and Downtown Wilmington parades. I am very grateful for you and Eddie for always supporting me!

Lilly Kays and Jean A. Lawler
Lilly Kays and Jean A. Lawler

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Christmas parades I was in this past weekend, and thank you to the committees of each parade. I am so fortunate to be invited to the events, and thank you for all your hard work putting on these parades! I truly had a wonderful time.

Unfortunately, I only have one parade left: the Martin Luther King Jr. parade. Follow me on Instagram at @ncazaleaprincess for more information about my upcoming appearances!

Also, the registration deadline for the 2017 North Carolina Azalea Festival Scholarship Pageant is coming up! All Wilmington and surrounding area high school juniors are eligible. Go to ncazaleafestival.org to register! The North Carolina Azalea Festival is a great way to get involved in your community, and through the pageant you will make friends and memories you will never forget. Whether you dance, compete on the debate team, or run cross country like me, the Azalea Festival is for everyone, and the princess pageant is a great way to get started!


Lilly Kays
2016 Azalea Festival Princess

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