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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With the Azalea Festival and the Azalea Garden Tour just weeks away, you may notice some new landscaping at the entrance of Wilmington near I-40.

Area leaders and the DOT announced the completion of a beautification project right under the city’s welcome sign with a ribbon cutting ceremony today.

Inspired by the sign’s design, you’ll notice palm trees and, of course, azaleas.

“We thought it was a worthy place to landscape with this gateway entrance into Wilmington to throw out a beautiful welcome mat for the people that are going to be coming to our city in the next few weeks, and for months and years to come,” Cathy Poulos of the Cape Fear Garden Club said.

Before the festival, next week is “Plant an Azalea Week.” It’s an effort to keep the city’s reputation of the “City of a Million Azaleas.”

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