WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The annual Azalea Festival Parade is changing course. Literally.
Organizers say the parade will now start at Market Street and head north on N. 3rd Street to Brunswick Street.
The goal is to speed up the parade by shortening the route and taking out turns. Last year’s parade took more than three hours to complete.
This year’s parade will also feature 30-foot tall balloons. Organizers say they will also split up the marching bands so that every tenth entry or so in the parade will be a band.
Instead of staging in the parking lot at Cape Fear Community College at N. Front and Hanover streets, entries will get ready on side streets and church parking lots off S. 3rd Street.
The Azalea Festival Parade is Saturday, April 11.