Tradition rolls on with the Azalea Festival Parade

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Submitted: Sun, 04/10/2011 - 3:33am
Updated: Sun, 04/10/2011 - 11:48am

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The parade has come and gone, but the Azalea Festival tradition rolls on as some folks are already looking forward to next year’s spectacle.

The 2011 Azalea Festival Parade marched down 3rd Street Saturday morning. Despite somewhat dreary weather and chilly temperatures, the masses lined the streets of Downtown Wilmington to get a glimpse of the princesses, the royal court and, of course, the Queen.

Spectator Monique Holmes said this is her third parade, and they just keep getting better.

“Every year it’s something different,” Holmes said. “I love the schools. I love the bands especially. My favorite part, I would have to say, the Shriner’s Club. I always wanted to ride around in the little buggies. That’s my favorite part of the parade.”

Holmes said this year’s festival was extra special, because she got to tour the Battleship with the Senior Center and meet Queen Azalea in person. She said this year’s diversity and youth made it an exciting Azalea Festival.


  • Guest345 says:

    First, It was spread out to far apart from one entrant to the next. Second, nobody clapped for the celebrities, because, most were unknown. It is sad that our Famous Wilmingtonian got more applause from the crowds. Third, there were hardly any bands. Fourth, I guess anyone can get in the parade, because of all the Hair Salon vehicles at the end of the parade and some of the entrants just walking down the street doing nothing or did they sneak in? Lastly, the coverage from WWAY was terrible. The anchors need to study the material before the parade. Cape Fear Middle School was the only middle school in the parade and they were from ROCKY POINT not Rocky Mount. Kevin should know this! There were numerous other mistakes, and the worst part, they are local entrants and local news media should know most of these and where they are from. I have lived here all my life and one of the few locals left and I felt as though this parade was just thrown together. Oh well, there is always next year!

  • renae says:

    This parade to me did not meet the standards of the others that i have attended. The parade lacked excitement and the overall feelings that one usually gets when attending a long awaited event! Where were the bands? Where were the step teams? Next year i only hope that there will be more noise and hoopla!

  • Wilmington native says:

    I have been to a lot of Azalea Festivals and parades and I must say this one really surprised me. The street fair was better than ever. I love the fact that they spread it out to cover more than just Water Street. The parade though was just awful. The old favorites were there like the military, the Shriners, the circus and clowns and the dance groups, but other than that, it was pretty sad. People want to hear bands and it is awful that they put all the high schools together. They should be spread out throughout the parade. They can take turns as far as who plays for the queen. Also, the announcers made several mistakes when announcing the parade. They announced a local school from Pender County was from Rocky Mount instead of Rocky Point. They were told they made a mistake shortly after it was made and did not take the time to correct it on the air. I really don’t understand that at all. I truly hope next year is better.

  • Vicky Roberts says:

    The good and the bad! I loved the Band of Oz! If not for them, I would have been thoroughly disappointed. I have always bragged about the great bands in this parade and guess what–there were none! If next years parade will mimmick this years, please cut it down an hour or two. It was too cold to watch so many crowns and commissioners in separate cars for me to keep coming back!

  • Tasha says:

    Didn’t go this year to the parade,but by watching on the T.V—the bleachers look empty and where were the bands? I have seen better and this was not one of the best festival.

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