The North Carolina Azalea Festival
The North Carolina Azalea Festival takes place in April of each year in Wilmington, NC. Highlights of this eastern North Carolina event include a big parade, multiple-day street fair, big name entertainment, and the Airlie Luncheon Garden Party, where folks get dressed up in their best festive garden attire!
The dates for the next edition of the Azalea Festival are April 3 – 7, 2019. Founded in 1948, the North Carolina Azalea Festival has been going on for a long time!
Many events, including Waterfront Street Fair, parade, fireworks, and juried art show and sale are free and open to the public. Other events, such as the Airlie Luncheon Garden Party, are private affairs reserved for festival patrons. (Patron packages are available, providing access to the Airlie Garden event, concert tickets, bleacher tickets for the parade, and VIP receptions).
The Waterfront Street Fair is one of the festival’s signature events. Over 250 food and art & artisan vendors attend this event, plus there’s a classic car show, children’s activities, and live entertainment. The street fair is held in downtown Wilmington on Front and Water Streets. The 2019 Waterfront Street Fair takes place on April 5 – 7.
Big name entertainers perform at the Azalea Festival’s Main Stage. Past performers have included Carrie Underwood, Snoop Dogg, The Avett Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Duran Duran, Ludacris, Cole Swindell, Billy Currington, and Nelly.
Where to Stay
Hotels located in Wilmington’s historic district and along the Cape Fear Riverfront provide the most convenient access for the street fair, parade, concerts, and fireworks. See our list of hotels near the North Carolina Azalea Festival.