Wilmington offering free on-street parking for the Azalea Festival

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The 2021 annual Azalea Festival gets underway this weekend. The city will offer a variety of parking options, including free parking beginning this evening.

FREE PARKING: The City of Wilmington’s downtown on-street parking will be FREE beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 20 and all-day Saturday and Sunday.

$10 EVENT PARKING: On Saturday beginning at 7 a.m., as well as Sunday, there will be a $10 fee to park in the 2nd Street deck, the Market Street deck, and the Riverplace deck. Due to the Azalea Festival Concerts, there will be a $10 fee to park at the Convention Center deck starting on Friday at 3 p.m. and continuing through the weekend.

$8 EVENT PARKING: Parking in the Hannah Block lot next to the Community Arts Center is $8 on Saturday and Sunday.

CLOSED LOT: The City’s 2nd Street parking lot located on the corner of Market and 2nd streets will be closed for festival activities.

Both the Wilmington Fire Department and Wilmington Police Department released videos this week to help keep festival-goers safe. View WFD’s video here and WPD’s video here.

Reminders include:

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Per city code, pets are not allowed downtown during festivals.
  • Do not bring weapons of any kind downtown.
  • Make a plan for going out and be aware of the street closures. You can find a complete list of street closures online here.
  • Masks are required indoors no matter vaccination status.

Here’s a list of events taking place over the next three days:

Wilmington Grill Music & Beer Garden at the DGX Waterfront Street Fair

Starting Friday at 6 pm and continuing all weekend the Wilmington Grill Music Stage & Beer Garden is a great place to catch tunes day and night. See below for the schedule. Entry is FREE. Beverages are available for purchase and outdoor games are on site. Listen to your favorite local and regional musicians playing a variety of rock, blues, and folk.

The Waterfront Street Fair provides an array of shopping and food opportunities with over 250 Vendors along the streets of historic downtown. The Waterfront Street Fair will also feature plenty of entertainment with special areas such as the Children’s Area, Multicultural Area, and the Wilmington Grill Music & Beer Garden.


The Avett Brothers made mainstream waves with their 2009 major label debut, I And Love And You, landing at #16 on the Billboard Top 200 & garnering critical acclaim. In 2012, The Carpenter hit #4 on the Billboard Top 200 & was followed by Magpie And The Dandelion (2013)which debuted at #5 on Billboard’s Top 200.


Main viewing areas will be all along 3rd Street, from Market Street to Bladen Street.  Viewing along the route is always free, though reserved Festival bleacher tickets are available for purchase at the North Carolina Azalea Festival Ticket Office for $5-8 in advance, $7-10 on the day of.


A favorite Festival event, the Fireworks are presented over the majestic Cape Fear River on Saturday of the North Carolina Azalea Festival. Come early to pick out your best viewing spot along North Front Street. The show is Saturday at 9:00 PM.

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