2010 Azalea Festival in Wilmington, North Carolina

April 10-11, 2010

  The North Carolina Azalea Festival takes place every year in the city of Wilmington, North Carolina. The Festival is a non-civic organization and is highly sponsored by the local community. It celebrates local art, the floral gardens, and the history of Wilmington. The festival lasts for five days and takes place in the beginning of April. Attendance to the festival has grown to reach over 300,000 in 2008. The Azalea Festival has become an event many travel to for vacation which has boosted Wilmington's local economy. Such businesses as car rental companies have benefited from the festival. An estimated $5 million is given to the community through money raised for the festival. The North Carolina Azalea Festival is also continually aiming to provide scholarships for local students.

Several scholarship opportunities are available such as the Princess Scholarship Program. This program raises approximately $28,000 each year to give away through scholarship. Through this program, one young lady becomes the recipient of the Beverly Anne Jurgensen Scholarship Award which pays for one year's full tuition to an in-state college.

Now for the information you really want to know about!

Street Fair
The Street Fair is the main attraction of the Azalea Festival.  The hustle and bustle begins early Friday, as vendors converge on downtown Wilmington to erect their tents and booths.  You'll find everything from funnel cake to birdhouses -- and a lot in between.  Not only are local artisans represented, but you'll also find deals on variety merchandise.  Wilmington Azalea Fest Street Fair Map

Friday night is a good night to come downtown, especially if you are a local.  99% of the vendors are set up, and you can avoid some of the crowds of Saturday and Sunday. 

Saturday and Sunday, however, are great days for people-watching.  Due to the enormity of this event, you can expect not only all walks of life, but also many, many companies which spend great amounts of money to market themselves.  The result is first-class exhibitions and roving logo-clad sales reps -- many handing out free samples.

Things really kick in with the parade on Saturday morning!

 

   
Fat Tony's Italian Pub in Historic Downtown Wilmington NC Fat Tony's Italian Pub, is ground-central for the festival.  A locally owned restaurant with two patios, great homemade food, and 24 draft beers, Fat Tony's seems to be the place to go during the festival -- especially for those who want to be able to sit down and enjoy some of the local atmosphere. Fat Tony's has two Wilmington-area locations, but the downtown location was their first.  The building is steeped with history.  It is the site of the Orton Hotel, circa 1886, which was largely destroyed by a tragic downtown fire, in 1949.  The building has many great remaining features of the 19th century, however, including the basement pool room, circa 1888, which survived the fire and continues to operate.  It has been recognized as the oldest pool room in America.
   

This site is in no way affiliated with ncazaleafestival.org.