NC Azalea Festival to Celebrate Spring All Year Long

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The North Carolina Azalea Festival has announced it will be celebrating Spring during Festival dates of April 7-11, 2021... and continuing throughout the year. The Festival team — made up of over 120 volunteers in leadership positions and Festival staff — have been working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to plan a springtime celebration for the community that now will blossom throughout 2021.

The Festival is continuing in tradition with a full lineup of Festival week events and programming for this April. Queen Azalea #74 will be coming to town to celebrate with guests in smaller, more intimate, socially-distance appropriate gatherings. The Festival is also working on exciting re-presented event ideas and programs to engage the community and do its part to stimulate the economy, including BOLO for Blooms, a Virtual Watch Party, Azaleas on Tour Porch Parade, the Queen's Coronation...A Journey of 74 Socially-Distant Waves for our 74th, and the Secret Garden Party, BYOY (Bring Your Own Yard).

The Festival is excited to announce its new Pin Pals commemorative pin collecting program as one of its efforts to stimulate the local economy. Guests can purchase a 2021 commemorative pin for $10 and receive discounts from local businesses the entire month of April. Guests can also register their pin for a chance to win one of three Grand Prizes valued at over $1,500 each. Business registration in this program is free. As part of the work of the new Azalea Festival Diversity and Inclusion Committee, this business registration application is now also available in Spanish.

While the Festival is proud of new and unique programming for Festival week in April, there is no denying the cap on event attendance still mandated in North Carolina. As such, the Festival has rescheduled its larger events for later in the year. Guests will now be able to enjoy the DGX Street Fair, the Dollar General Parade, and all Main Stage shows in August, with some exciting twists!

On Thursday, August 19th, guests can enjoy the Sublime with Rome | Michael Franti & Spearhead concert from a new location — North Waterfront Park. Avett Brothers fans will be pleased to now have TWO SHOWS to choose from — Friday, August 20th and Saturday, August 21st, also at the new location.

Existing paid ticket holders for the Avett Brothers will be given two weeks to select which Avett show they would like to attend. Selection will be based on a first-come, first-served priority. The new venue has a smaller capacity; once a show nears maximum capacity all ticket exchanges for that show will be halted, and ticket holders will automatically be moved to the other show, or given a refund if requested. All Festival Sponsors will be given Thursday night Sublime with Rome | Michael Franti & Spearhead and Friday night tickets to the Avett Brothers show as part of their packages.

Additionally, the new venue allows for different upgrade options, including Hospitality seating and an Orchestra Pit. Existing PAID ticket holders will be given first priority for these new seating options, during this same two-week exchange period.

Paid ticket holders can request their Avett Brothers show date or an upgraded experience here. Sublime with Rome | Michael Franti & Spearhead paid ticket holders do not need to do anything to have their tickets moved to the August date, unless they would like to purchase an upgraded experience.

All new ticket sales for the Main Stage shows will be suspended until Saturday, February 27th at 10 am, while the Festival gives time for existing ticket purchasers to make their selections.

Complete line-up of Festival events:

  • BOLO for Blooms, a Virtual Watch Party: March 1 - April 7
  • Art Unveiling: Monday, March 22
  • Azalea Sweep: Saturday, April 3
  • Azaleas on Tour, a Porch Parade: Monday, April 5 - Sunday, April 11
  • Queen's Coronation...A Journey of 74 Socially-Distant Waves for our 74th: Wednesday, April 7 - Sunday, April 11; Presented by BB&T, Now Truist
  • Celebrity Reception, the Drive-By Edition: Friday, April 9
  • The Secret Garden Party, BYOY (Bring Your Own Yard): Friday, April 9
  • Airlie Luncheon Garden Party: Friday, July 30
  • Paws on Parade; the Official Dog Garden Paw-ty, Saturday, July 31
  • Sublime with Rome | Michael Franti & Spearhead: Thursday, August 19
  • The Avett Brothers: Friday, August 20
  • The DGX Street Fair: Friday, August 20 - Sunday, August 22
  • The Wilmington Grill Music and Beer Garden: Friday, August 20 - Sunday, August 22
  • The Dollar General Parade: Saturday, August 21
  • The Multicultural Stage: Saturday, August 21 - Sunday, August 22
  • The Avett Brothers: Saturday, August 21
  • Patrons' Party: Saturday, August 28

Canceled events:

  • Scholarship Pageant: This event has been canceled for 2021, with the existing 2020 Azalea Festival Princess and Court reigning over the 2021 Festival events. A larger pageant, inclusive of both juniors and seniors, is planned to happen in 2022.
  • Boxing Competition
  • Riverwalk Shaggin' Contest

As the Azalea Festival strives to stay connected in these pandemic times, please stay tuned to the Festival E-newsletter distribution list and social media for current updates. New in 2021, the Festival has unveiled an updated website as well as its own TikTok account. Be one of the first followers!

The North Carolina Azalea Festival Board of Directors, volunteers, and staff wish to thank each and every Festival sponsor and partner who has continued to support the Festival over the past year. We will rise stronger because of you.

About the North Carolina Azalea Festival:
Since its inception in 1948, the North Carolina Azalea Festival has blossomed into an extended weekend celebration that attracts more than 300,000 people and generates more than $51 million for the local economy. The Festival showcases our community’s rich array of artwork, gardens, history and culture through recreational, educational and family-oriented events. The North Carolina Azalea Festival at Wilmington, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit.



(910) 794-4650 

Suzanne Brown
Media Relations Manager
Veda Gilbert
Public Relations Manager
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