Spring has Sprung! at the Azalea Festival, by Bev Filer

pink azaleaThe bright pink and purple hues of blooming azaleas were a treat to my eyes as I drove through Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort this week. I am always impressed by the sensational Southern landscaping in this lovely gated golf community. This spring, however, offers an especially pleasing array of nature’s vivid harmony. Music to the soul! Spring is a time of renewal for all!

This April also finds the North Carolina Azalea Festival in Full Bloom…A short, scenic drive north on Route 17 in the Wilmington area. I always consider Brunswick Plantation the “Two State Solution to Fun” in the Carolinas. Three miles south on Route 17 is Little River, S C and Myrtle Beach. So, there is always a variety of choices of fun things to do…Locally or in either direction!

azalea crowning with militaryThe North Carolina Azalea Festival is a Celebration of Spring Southern Style! The coronation of the Azalea Queen was celebrated on April 10 in Riverfront Park in Wilmington. Azalea Queen, Jennifer Wayne, and her court…Grace Andrews, Amanda Gregory, Kaitlynne Bryan, and Brittany Williams…accompanied by eight beautiful princesses from colleges and high schools in NC were aboard the largest riverboat in the area, The Henrietta III. Also aboard were the Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Belles! Beauty abounds in North Carolina!

The queen, Jennifer Wayne, is the granddaughter of actor John Wayne. “The Duke” still reigns!” Jennifer is blessed with talent of her own! She was a nationally ranked tennis player before pursuing her music career. Discovered by Merv Griffin, she moved to Nashville and joined a band. Her beautiful voice blends perfectly with the trio known as “Stealing Angels”! Her band mates also have famous relatives. Tayla Lynn is the granddaughter of Loretta Lynn, and Caroline Cutbirth is a descendent of Daniel Boone. The legacy lives on…In various forms of talent!

Jennifer wrote 9 of the 13 songs on their debut album and had her songs recorded by American idol winner, Taylor Hicks and Grammy nominated artist, Eric Paslay. Jennifer is currently on the Emmy Award winning TV show: “The Amazing Race”…Racing with band mate Caroline Cutbirth…Spreading a little song around the world! The North Carolina Azalea Queen is quite accomplished in the world of music. Music to the ears at the Azalea Festival!

There are many special events taking place the next few days of the Azalea Festival! I will share information about a few and you can find more info at http://www.ncazaleafestival.org

  • Cole Bros_ Circus ElephantCOLE BROTHER’S CIRCUS…World’s largest Circus under the “Big Top”! Talented elephants, fearless flyers, camels, clowns, Motorcycle Maniacs in Globe of Death, Clever Canines, teeterboard acrobats, Trapeze Aerial Gymnasts, the World’s Funniest Horse, the Human Cannonball…NEW This Year: White Tiger Act, Special, Fast paced Dog Act, High Wire Troupe from Columbia, South America…Addition of Bay Hugo to the Elephant displays. April 11- April 14

*Thursday, April 11 & Friday, April 12: Performances at 4:30 PM & 7:30 PM

*Saturday, April 13: Performances: 1:30 Pm, 4:30 PM, & 7:30 PM

*Sunday, April 14 Performances: 1:30 PM & 4:30 PM

  • Thursday, April 11 at the Festival Site in Downtown Wilmington: The LYNYRD SKYNYRD Southern Rock group will perform at 7pmTheir performance is at 7pm and is $40 to attend.


  • visiting shipsVisiting Ships… You may visit the ships docked along the Cape Fear Riverside any day during the Festival through April14. Each year different ships join in the celebration of the North Carolina Azalea Festival.



  • Juried Art Show...BoatsJuried Art Show is at the Hannah Block Center. Second Street Downtown Wilmington… Free Admission : More @ www.wilmingtonart.org Friday, April 12 : 10am – 5:30 pm,

Saturday, April 13: 10am – 5:30 pm,

Sunday, April 14: 10 am – 4 pm


  • Cape Fear Azalea Garden Tour Sponsored by the Cape Fear Garden Club, Inc. The tour has been featured in Southern Living,Locations is various Gardens Around Wilmington Tickets on sale at Festival Ticket Office…$20 each Friday, April 12 – Sunday, April 14…10am – 6pm


  • Azalea Stree Festival street fairAzalea Festival Street Fair…A family event with 200 arts and crafts vendors, 40 food vendors, 4 stages, a children’s area, and a whole lot of FUN! The Street Fair is located…Downtown Wilmington on Water Front and Market Street. Free Admission: Friday, April 12: 6pm – 10pm. Saturday, April 13: 10am – 10pm* Fireworks 9pm,Sunday, April 14: 10am – 6pm



  • Street fair Multi-Cultural Stage…Two day Celebration that will showcase some of the best ethic performers dressed in authentic traditional costumes. They will present the best in contemporary & traditional music, dance and ethic pageantry from around the world!

**Special “Dream Girl” performance** by cast of award winning musical “The Color Purple” at 3:20 on Saturday. Corner of Walnut/Front Street, Downtown Wilmington

Saturday, April 13: 1pm – 5:20pm & Sunday, April 14:1pm – 5pm… Free Admission


  • Street Fair Café: Squonk Opera Performs GO Roadshow “ A Carnival Calliope”.

Friday, April 12: 7pm – 9pm, Saturday, April 13: 2pm – 4:30 pm, Sunday, April 14: 1pm, 3pm, 5pm

Riverfront Park Stage: Friday, April 12 6pm – 10pm : Praise Fest Schedule: http://www.ncazaleafestival.org/events/street-fair-2013

  • Avett BrothrsAvett Brothers performing at Festival Site, Cape Fear Community College, 411 N. Front Street, Downtown Wilmington …Friday, April 12 at 7pm (Gates open at 5pm.): Tickets are $45 each.

The Avett Brothers offer a fresh new chapter in the American Song Book. They honor bluegrass, country, folk, rock, grunge, and punk, but are not one of these. The sound is simply Avett Brothers! Albums are Emotionalism and I and Love and You. The twelve songs on their album of The Carpenter continue the band’s exploration of the human condition. They are North Carolina boys who are becoming a national phenomenon. They consider this album “Poetry from the Soul”.

  • azalea paradeAzalea Festival Parade The NC Azalea Festival Parade is an annual event viewed by over 100,000 people….View Floats, Marching Units & Bands, Clowns & Horses, all highlighted by visiting Celebrities, the Azalea Queen and her Court, and the Azalea Princess.

Third Street, Downtown Wilmington….Saturday, April 13: 9am…Admission Free along Route…Admission to Bleacher Seating is $5 & $8.


  • coin show tableCoin Show …A fun filled family event. Children are given free foreign coins to learn about currency and foreign countries. More than 30 dealers from several surrounding states and foreign countries will be on hand to appraise, buy, sell, and trade coins, currency, and other numismatic items. Location:American Legion Saturday, April 13: 10am – 5pm & SUNDAY, April 14: 10am – 3pm …Tickets are $1.00 donation which earns you a raffle ticket to win a prize!




  • Colt Ford singerCOLT AND THE LACS The hick hop and Southern Rock sound of the LACS will kick off Saturday night festivities. The LACS will open for the walking, talking celebration of country music and country living, Colt Ford at 7pm. Colt Ford’s albums are Ride through the Country & Declaration of Independence. Location: Festival Site, Cape Fear Community College, 411,N. Front Street, Downtown Wilmington: Saturday, April 13 @ 7pm. $25 each/$50 VIP package

Join the Fun at the 2013 Azalea Festival! Let us know if this information helps you in your planning for your “Spring Southern Style”! We’d also love to hear which of these spectacular events you enjoyed most!Take care, and have fun at “The Fair”!


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