Azalea Festival in full bloom


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The queen has been crowned. Gardens across Wilmington are prepped and ready to go and the ribbon has been cut. The 2012 North Carolina Azalea Festival is officially in full bloom.

“All of our hard work that comes into this one day for the ribbon cutting and then followed by two more days of actual garden tours,” said Garden Tour Vice Chair Susan Nettleman. “We’re very blessed. We couldn’t ask for anything nicer than the weather that we have this weekend.”

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Although most of the azaleas have come and gone, organizers say the show must go on.

“Even though the azaleas came early this year the gardens have other flowers planted,” said Nettleman. “There are statues in the gardens. There’s something of interest in every garden.”

Visitors say they are looking forward to the other flowers that are blooming.

“We’re expecting the roses the tulips and whatever other floral arrangements that these homes have to offer to be in full bloom,” said visitor Ron Volpe.

All the hard work and dedication of the Garden Club and the belles has finally paid off.

“I’m so excited to finally be here,” said belle Marianna Baggett. “It’s so nice. It’s kind of sad though because I don’t want it to be over.”

And as soon as it’s done, organizers say it’s only the beginning of the planning for next year.

The Azalea Garden tour gardens are open Saturday and Sunday from 10 am until 6 pm. Tickets will be available at each garden.