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Preparations start for spring's Azalea Garden Tour

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Even though it's still six months away, today was the start of Azalea Festival preparations.

People whose homes and businesses are on the Azalea Garden Tour picked up some Encore Azaleas at Airlie Gardens so they'll be in full bloom in time for the festival. The Encore Azalea is the only patented brand of azaleas to bloom in the spring, summer, and fall.

Today we got a taste of what's to come, but this spring the azaleas will put on quite a show.

"We have to do a lot of preparations for the Azalea Festival coming up, and azaleas are obviously an important aspect of the tour itself, so this gift to us is very appreciative," said Eric Cozen, superintendent at Oakdale Cemetery.

The Garden Tour ribbon-cutting will be held in April at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, where the idea of the Azalea Festival first bloomed.

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