2018 NC Azalea Festival Queen, special guests announced

Beth Troutman (Photo: NC Azalea Festival)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — As spring gets underway tomorrow that means we are closer to the 2018 North Carolina Azalea Festival. The festival just announced that this year’s Queen Azalea is Beth Troutman.

Other invited guests include Adrian Wood, Miss North Carolina 2017 Victoria Huggins, Chef Vivian Howard, and Festival artist Virginia Wright-Frierson.

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The festival is happening throughout the second week of April.


Beth Troutman is an Emmy Award-winning television personality and motivational speaker. She has spent nearly 20 years in the television industry working both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Beth has hosted local and nationally syndicated TV shows and has appeared on The Today Show, Extra, HLN, Home & Family, Good Day New York, Good Day LA & Good Day Chicago. Her career began in Los Angeles where a cold-call led to a position working for the hit show The West Wing. After four years with the show, she was asked to run for the US House of Representatives in North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District. At the young age of 27, Beth was first woman to run for Congress in NC-8. Although she lost the election, she ran a close race and was then offered a job as the host of the television morning show FOX News Rising. While working for FOX, Beth covered everything from politics to pop culture and was a Red Carpet Correspondent at the American Idol Finale during three of its most popular seasons.

RELATED: Will the azaleas bloom in time for the iconic festival?

In 2009 Beth landed a gig as the host of the nationally televised morning show The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television. In 2011, she moved back out west to help launch the nationally syndicated show Right This Minute. With Beth as the Lead Host, RTM was the #1 New Syndicated Show on TV. It aired in more than 200 television markets across the U.S. and was also syndicated internationally. She helped sign deals with MGM, Sony and FOX. Beth returned to her home state of North Carolina in 2015 to be the main anchor of NBC-Charlotte’s evening newscasts. While at NBC, Beth covered the 2016 Olympics LIVE from Rio de Janeiro. She was also the host of the Sunday political show Flashpoint. Most recently, Beth spent time living at an orphanage in Haiti providing aid, assistance, and support to the local children and community. While in Haiti, she shot a series of short documentaries that recently won TWO Emmy Awards. Beth now travels the globe speaking to thousands about purpose, priorities, success and finding joy in a world of sensory overload. She is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill where she received degrees in Political Science and Women’s Studies.

Azalea Festival concerts at the main stage in downtown Wilmington include 38 Special, Billy Currington, and Ludacris.

Billy Currington will perform Thursday, April 12, 38 Special will perform Friday, April 13, and Ludcris will perform Saturday, April 14.