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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Queen Azalea has been crowned, and the Azalea Festival is officially underway.

Hundreds of people came out on this beautiful day to watch Jennifer Wayne’s crowning moment.

“It’s really pretty outside, so it kind of highlights how the azalea festival is supposed to be,” Azalea Belle Megan Pawlowski said.

Queen Jennifer, her court and the festival’s celebrity guests cruised up the Cape Fear River on the Henrietta II. The celebrities said they were taken back by the southern hospitality and the people of Wilmington.

“I am just overwhelmed,” the queen said. “People here are so nice. I feel so spoiled.”

Celebrity guest Alexa Alemanni, an actress who has appeared in “Mad Men,” agreed.

“The hospitality of everyone has been extraordinary,” she said.

New Hanover High School alum Win McMurry of the Golf Channel is no stranger to the Azalea Festival. Now she’s seeing it from a different perspective.

“I’m so honored to be to able to be back in my hometown here in Wilmington,” McMurry said. “I was actually an Azalea Belle back when I was in high school.”

The queen says even though she has only been in Wilmington for a day she is in love with the Port City.

“I’ve never seen flowers like they have here. I mean I knew it was the Azalea Festival, so I was expecting pretty flowers but not like this. They’re insane,” Wayne said. “Today I’m like, ‘Look at that, look at that!’ My boyfriend went to the beach today, and he was like, ‘Jen, I think we should move here.”

Tomorrow, Queen Jennifer will tour Wilmington, including visits to Roland-Grise Middle School and the Betty H. Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Comment on this Story

  • bburgbby

    While she is a lovely woman…and I mean no disrespect..
    Can someone please tell me why a person without any ties to the area is crowned our Queen? Seems to me that one of our own local young ladies would be a better fit. Don’t beauty queens descend from pageants? Is there not a pageant we could hold instead of just picking a “celebrity”?
    Don’t we have some of the most beautiful and brightest young ladies of our own, here in town?
    It just seems silly to me.

  • Vog46

    Oh boy……
    The “locals” will then get into cat fights over who should represent “us”. Should it be a woman of prominence in the community? Or a student?
    Then we’ll get into the fight over a woman of color, ethnicity, religious background etc etc etc……and that doesn’t include the cross dressers who “can’t be discriminated against either”.

    We’ll end up with a woman with male tendencies, who is Jewish but practices Islam, is half Israeli and half Pakistani, who has a handicap, is a veteran, and has Native American heritage in her/his background somewhere.
    She will be the quintessential all inclusive woman.

    And the truck hauling the float will probably look better than she does………….

    I suppose “C” list stars aren’t so bad after all………


  • jj

    I can tell you are not from around here, if you were you would know it has been this way from day one.. It is never a local..


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