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Submitted by WWAY on Fri, 04/11/2014 - 2:53pm.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Azalea Festival was in full bloom at Airlie Gardens this afternoon for the Garden Party. Sun dresses, hats and bow ties were everywhere at the annual event. Guests enjoyed music, food, and this beautiful weather. About 2,500 people, including festival celebrities and local law enforcement, were dressed in their best for this annual southern tradition. The exclusive party hosts VIPs and sponsors of the Azalea Festival. It's a place to see and be seen. "We're here just enjoying this beautiful weather," Elisha Wendt said. "I mean, the Azalea Festival is one of my favorite times of the year, because it's a kickoff to summer for me. You get to come out here with your hat. It's so much fun. I love supporting the local azalea festival. I think it's a wonderful organization it's been around for years and years." The Azalea Festival continues tonight with the Street Fair and the Widespread Panic concert downtown.

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