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City offers Azalea Festival parking, traffic reminders

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The City of Wilmington sent out this news release Thursday morning with reminders and tips about parking and traffic downtown this weekend during the Azalea Festival:

North Front Street will be open for pedestrians in time for the Azalea Festival this weekend.

* This major project milestone is being reached on time.
* The Market Street intersection is already open to vehicles in three directions.
* Lighting, traffic signals, trash containers, benches, landscaping, parking paystations and other amenities are being added over the next couple of weeks.

Parking
The city's downtown on-street parking will be free starting at 5 p.m. on Friday and all day Saturday for Azalea Festival activities. Parking enforcement for metered and time-limited spaces will be suspended in the Central Business District, which extends from Ann to Red Cross streets and from Water to Fourth streets. On-street parking is always free on Sundays. Parking in the city's Second Street and Market Street decks will charge a $5 entry fee on Saturday and Sunday. Check the city's website at wilmingtonnc.gov for details.

Street closures
Several downtown streets will be closed during Azalea Festival for both the street fair and the parade. Most of the closures for the street fair will last all weekend, but the closures for the parade are only for Saturday morning. A listing of all street closures can be found on the city's website at wilmingtonnc.gov.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Azalea Activities

For all of you complainers,GET OVER IT.The only reason you want to complain is because you don't have a life.If you don't want anything to do with the Azalea festival don't.I have been here all my life and I don't take part in it,but I am not going to complain about people that want to enjoy it.

Azalea Festival

I love the concept behind the Azalea Festival. Not only is spring especially beautiful here, it's also an opportunity to focus on the historic downtown area. I'm grateful for those who make this happen and know it's an incredible gift of their time and efforts. Still, I wonder if it's time for a re-visioning of what this is about. The concerts and tours are cost prohibitive for most folks. Could we offer free tours and educational activities in several buildings, museums and homes downtown? We have a few small green areas downtown with gardening & educational possibilities, a children's museum, history & ghost tours, etc. We could create a historic 'theme park' downtown,with costumed characters, re-enactments, rather than parade characters that have nothing to do with Wilmington. Re the food vendors, I'd like to know how many are local. If they're not, would it be possible to limit foods to local specialties and caterers? We have such a rich and diverse restaurant community..why offer funnel cakes? why not support local businesses and the theme of spring, azaleas, history and community?

May berry Socialites

They love to mingle with these second rate celebrities and have their little parties. If you attended the festival in years past little has changed.There are queens that represents the entire agricultural spectrum. High priced entertainment , junk food and arts and crafts. The organizers of this event see it as an opportunity to gain a foothold within the political inner circle of our community. As an native of Wilmington , I stay away for this annual event.

Lighten up enjoy the moment,

Lighten up enjoy the moment, even in a traffic jam, and I would rather see the community come together for a festival, rather than come together because of crime and to continually come together to burry a citizen or complain of murder, car jackings, theft, robbery etc etc or drive by shootings, shootings at youth sporting events, shootings at middle and high schools or children caught in cross fire gang enforced crime. Once again I would rather see a community come together to celebrate rather than see a community come together to fight crime because crime has over ridden celebration.

Be happy enjoy the moment, protect the moment and keep it joyful because if you do not please be vigilant of what can creap in and ruin all of your community's pleasures.

This happens every year. The

This happens every year. The traffic is bad enough with all the out of town traffic, but they have to clog it up more using police presence to make sure they get to the $150/person garden parties on time.

Waste of Public Paid Resources

On 4-8-10 at appx. 2PM while on Shipyard next to Hoggard H.S. there was a big traffic jam. Traffic backed up to College. The reason: 6 New Hanover Sheriff's Deputies on County Harley's, two Wilmington City motorcycle Officers, 6 New Hanover Sheriff's office traffic enforcement cars and 4 city traffic enfocement cars. They escorted a Azalea Festival event for less than 15 cars into the HS parking lot. Do you think any of the traffic Officers stopped to get traffic moving again? Nope. Do you see the need and expense of tax paid Law Enforcement vehicles escorting supposedly dignitaries at our expense. Do you see we who pay their salaries being inconvienced for such silliness? The city can hold their socially sponsored events but not at their citizens expense. Even if the Law Enforcement Oficers are being paid through private funds they are riding in tax paid vehicles, burning tax paid gas and wear and tear on vehicles. I do not support my taxes funding appx. 15 city and county vehicles escorting anyone. That is not the job they are paid for. All it is, is politics to provide security for the rich and socially elite in this county. The poor middle class man cannot even afford to buy anything at the festival. I could care less about attending but for others that is fine. Just do not use our tax strapped money for silliness. When it comes time to vote, I vote no on any tax increase as I see the City and County have plenty of money.

agree

I totally agree. It was absolutely ridiculous all of the sheriff and police to escort vehicles, motor homes and 1 limo...If they needed an escort 1 would have been gracous enough. We are paying for them to ride up and down the road to make Wilmington make them feel special. They are ordinary people just like you and I. I don't think they need all of that attention. 1 escort is plenty!!!!!!!!!!!!

I agree!! There was another

I agree!! There was another "traffic situation" this am around 9 downtown- sirens could be heard for miles. I thought something had happened at a local school or some kind of shoot out. When I asked, I was told it was connected to the festival and queen. Ridiculous!!

Azalea festival fun

Quit griping that the Wilmington police dept and the Sheriffs dept escort the queen and other VIP's. It's part of the festival and the excitement that surrounds it. Lots of $$ will hopefully be made for the many local business owners. If the festival president wants police escorts, let them have it for week of Azalea festival.
Carry on and it was a great week of entertainment.