04/03/2024 - 10:00am to 04/07/2024 - 11:30pmGet Directions
In the Wilmington area, we know spring has officially begun with the arrival of the annual North Carolina Azalea Festival.
What started as a way to celebrate the blooming azaleas in 1948 has become an event that draws huge crowds and nationally-recognized celebrities. The festival got its roots when local doctor, Houston Moore, decided to revamp Greenfield Lake and turn it into a public park. After years of planning, Greenfield Lake was transformed into a beautiful new local hotspot, and Dr. Moore was inspired to honor the flowers and springtime in Wilmington with a festival. Thus, the annual North Carolina Azalea Festival was born and began drawing attention from tens of thousands of spectators, including our first celebrity Queen Azalea, Jaqueline White.
2023 North Carolina Azalea Festival Schedule
- The traditional start to every Azalea Fest is the Airlie Luncheon Garden Party. This iconic garden party is hosted at the Airlie Gardens on Friday, April 14th.
- See the coronation of Queen Azalea on Wednesday. April 12th. She will then celebrate the Azalea Festival with the rest of the community by attending the following weekend's events.
- Musical performances from Carly Pearce (Thursday, April 13th), Old Crow Medicine Show Concert (Friday, April 14th), and some local and regional musicians during the Tunes & Blooms Music Festival (Saturday, April 15th)
- Saturday, April 15th, 2023 will be the evening for free fireworks over the Cape Fear River at 9 pm.
Book Your North Carolina Azalea Festival Accommodations
If you plan to attend the Azalea Festival this spring, why not make it a vacation? Come home to the sound of waves crashing on the shore after a long day shopping at the street fair and viewing the beautiful blooms in our local gardens. It’s only a 15-minute drive from Wrightsville Beach to downtown Wilmington and 5 minutes to Airlie Gardens. From Carolina Beach to downtown is only 20 minutes!