ESSAY SECOND PLACE
Ashley Gorsett WILMINGTON CHRISTIAN ACADEMY •
April welcomes the blossoming multitude
of azaleas marking the beginning of the
annual Azalea Festival. Wilmington dis-plays
its local pride and remarkable beauty
throughout the city.
The young and young-at-heart fill the
streets to behold the traditional Azalea
Festival Parade. Luscious gardens filled with
fragrant azaleas accompany the brimful
crowds buzzing with excitement over the
events that will fill their day. Dazzled by all
of the vivid parade floats and street-food aro-mas,
family and friends share the packed day
celebrating their community with visitors
from near and far.
Women and men, in their refined dress,
attend various garden parties and tours that
boast the spectacle of the red, pink, and
white bursts of color. Azalea Belles become
the envy and aspiration of young girls as the
Victorian-style dresses captivate their atten-tion.
Wilmington’s best is shown through the
cultural diversity and Southern charm of the
The blossomed azalea’s renewed natural
beauty, reflected in the Belles and events, con-nect
the community, uniting it in lasting pride.
ALLISON POTTER COURTESY NC AZALEA FESTIVAL
Ashley rode in the Azalea Festival parade as a young child and that
experience left a lasting impression on her. She sees the Cape Fear
Garden Club Azalea Belles as an iconic part of our community and
aspires to be one next year. She plans to attend college after gradua-tion
and study in the math and science field. She enjoys watching old
movies and learning from her grandfather how to make Brunswick
stew the old-fashioned way in a large iron kettle on an open fire.
Fun fact: William Shakespeare is her 16th cousin twice removed!