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Photos of Azalea Festival and Downtown Wilmington


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The Azalea Festival (last weekend) in Wilmington draws around 300,000 people annual for the four day event. It usually starts on Thursday morning with the crowning of a celebrity as the Azalea Queen, followed by a concerts, a parade downtown, that has over 200 entries, and last about 2 1/2 hours. Water and Front Streets are covered with many smalls canopies and booths containing food and crafts. There are also cultural events, live music from around noon until midnight, sports events, horse shows during the day, then at night the downtown clubs open until the wee hours of the morning. Around 2 or 3 am on friday or Saturday night hundreds pour out of clubs onto the streets lining up at the all night pizza places on Front and Market Streets for a late night/early morning snack before going home.

Here are a few pictures of the festival and some other things happening downtown.

Water street is where all the food vendors and live music are along with the "beer garden" located under the parking deck.


One of my personal favorites


A popular restaurant downtown on the corner of Water and Market.


A restaurant for the more expensive taste.


Boats, yachts, and ships from everywhere dock downtown.



Front Street is where all the crafts and "stuff" are located.


One of my favorite booths.


Indonesian Dancers from the cultural stage. Around 17 cultural communities were represented from Wilmington. These dancers and the Greek Dancers were my favorites.



The Henrietta III getting ready for a day of tours on the Cape Fear River.


Coast Guard in town for the festival.


The Hilton and the PPD building .The gap between the two will be filled with the convention center, two or three hotels and a mixed use project with office, retail and condos located in front of and to the north of the PPD building. There is about 3 blocks between the two building.


Cape Fear Community College celebrating 50 years. The college enrolled around 800 the first year it was open, in 2007 it enrolled 26,000 students.


The new real estate "hot spot" in downtown is the Brooklyn Arts District on Fourth Street. Many condos have been and are being built here, alone with restaurants, smalls businesses and art galleries.



Well thats a short tour of a few things going on in Downtown Wilmington, hope you enjoyed and found it interesting.

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Wow, I haven't been since the late 1980's. This is one of the largest events in the Carolinas and didn't miss a year growing up in the area. Back then, Front St. was historic but not the lively district it is now. Fourth St. has an abundance of potential as does most of downtown Wilmington that is finally being realized.

I played in a marching band for a few Azalea Festivals. Who was Azalea Queen this year? I always got a kick out of that (usually some soap opera star). Has Vanna White ever served as the Azalea Queen?

I'm definitely retiring in the Wilmington area (well, back home).

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