Heading to the Azalea Festival this weekend? Here’s where to park

PortCityDaily.com is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

WILMINGTON — Thousands of people will flood Wilmington from all over the state this week to take in the sights and sounds of the 2017 North Carolina Azalea Festival. With events happening around the clock over the weekend, the City of Wilmington has provided festival goers with several options to to park or ride downtown.

More than 300 arts and crafts vendors and 40 food trucks will line downtown streets this weekend during the 69th annual NC Azalea Festival. Courtesy photos.
Arts and crafts vendors and food trucks will line downtown streets this weekend during the 70th annual NC Azalea Festival. (Photo courtesy of North Carolina Azalea Festival)

Starting Friday at 5 p.m., all on street parking downtown will be free for the duration of the event.

Also starting Friday at 5 p.m. and extending to Saturday and Sunday, festival goers can park in the Second Street deck, the Market Street deck, and the New Hanover County deck (located next to the downtown library) for a $7 fee.

The Convention Center Parking Deck will be open, and will charge an hourly fee that will be posted at the entrance to the garage.

Parking in the Hannah Block lot next to the Community Arts Center will be $7 on Saturday and Sunday.

The city’s 2nd Street parking lot, located on the corner of 2nd and Market, will be closed for festival activities.

WAVE buses

There will be a Wave Transit Parade Shuttle from the Independence Mall to 4th Street, between Chestnut and Princess Streets downtown, Saturday, April 8 starting at 7 a.m. The shuttles will run approximately every 15 minutes until the parade begins.

Following the parade, express shuttle service will return passengers to Independence Mall until 2 p.m. The last shuttle from downtown will leave at 1:45 p.m. According to the Azalea Festival site, fares will be $2 each way ($4 round trip), and children under the age of 5 ride free with a fair paying adult.

For more information on the shuttle service, contact Wave Transit at (910) 343-0146 or wavetransit@wavetransit.com.

For traffic information and street closures, visit the City of Wilmington’s Azalea Festival website.

The 2017 North Carolina Azalea Festival kicked off festivities Wednesday afternoon with the coronation of Azalea Queen Kira Kazantsev, but this event is just the beginning of the four-day party in the Port City.

The NC Azalea Festival runs April 5-9. For more information on the Azalea Festival, and to purchase tickets to events, visit its website at ncazaleafestival.org.