Ribbon cutting officially begins Garden Tour

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Friday's Azalea Garden Tour Ribbon Cutting may be the grandest single spectacle of the entire Azalea Festival, and Friday did not disappoint. Even the weather cooperated. Music of the era, as the belles blossomed, the clouds parted, and the sky turned Carolina blue. The front lawn of the Willets home on Windsor Drive turned into a glorious palate from the old south. For our high school girls who become azalea belles, this is like something from a storybook: "It's exciting. It's always something I wanted to do since I was a little girl,” said belle Karen Rast. There is also a lot of family tradition: "I have another daughter who was a belle and then on the court in addition to this daughter. It's just become such a tradition,” said Debbie Hopper. Azalea Queen Amrapali Amegoakar cut the ribbon that officially began the Garden Tours sponsored by the Cape Fear Garden Club. The tour is a major fundraiser for the club.