Makes an Encore
The popular annual festival returns to
IBY FRITTS CAUSBY
F results from previous years are any indication, and
if having nearly double the amount of time to plan
provides a benefit, the 2021 North Carolina Azalea
Festival could be the best yet.
The increased planning time is a result of last
year’s festival being canceled and most of this year’s
events being moved to August in response to restrictions
imposed by the coronavirus.
“The North Carolina Azalea Festival is
excited to host events that bring peo-ple
together and celebrate everything
Wilmington has to offer,” executive
director Alison Baringer said. “The
festival has an annual economic
impact around $50 million, and we are excited to keep growing that to help the community.”
This year’s festival has a new venue, the Live Oak Bank Pavilion at Riverfront Park. Musical acts Sublime
with Rome and Michael Franti & Spearhead are scheduled to perform on Thursday, Aug. 19, followed by
the Avett Brothers with L-Shape Lot the following two days. An R&B festival will be held at Greenfield Lake
Amphitheater on Saturday, Aug. 21, the same day as the street fair, parade and fireworks show.
The Airlie Luncheon Garden Party, after party and Dog Garden Paw-ty were scheduled for the last weekend
in July. To account for the summer heat, the garden party had a pink clothing theme this year: no bow ties or seersucker suits
The event has always been in April, in homage to the namesake flowers that bloom all over town in the spring. This year,
event planners partnered with Tinga Nursery to use encore azaleas, a special variety that blooms several times a year,
because what’s an Azalea Festival without blooming azaleas?
Some of the North Carolina Azalea Festival’s most popular events, including the parade and street fair, will take place in
August this year.
16 august 2021
COURTESY OF NORTH CAROLINA AZALEA FESTIVAL
WBM FILE PHOTO