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?
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