Wednesday, October 4, 2023

When are the fireworks? A list of what you can do at this year’s Azalea Festival

With dozens of events to choose from, we're here to help you navigate this year's North Carolina Azalea Festival

There are dozens of events sponsored by the 2018 North Carolina Azalea Festival happening this week. (Port City Daily photo /JOHANNA FEREBEE)
There are dozens of events sponsored by the 2018 North Carolina Azalea Festival happening this week. (Port City Daily photo /JOHANNA FEREBEE)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY—With so many Azalea-related happenings, it can be hard to keep track of what to do and when you can do it.

Below we’ve compiled a list of events sponsored by the 2018 North Carolina Azalea Festival.

RELATED: Azalea Festival parking and road closures – here’s what you need to know

Wednesday, April 11

1-2:30 p.m. —The Queen’s Tea Coronation Processional is a new event that will take place at Hotel Ballast. It costs $30 to attend and tickets are available online.

3-4:30 p.m. —The Queen’s Coronation will take place downtown Wilmington. The Azalea Festival Queen will be officially crowned at 5 North Water Street. The event and meet and greet will be free to attend.

Thursday, April 12

7 p.m.Billy Currington with Drake White and the Big Fire and Kenton Bryant will take place at the Azalea Festival Main Stage. Tickets for $45 are available online.

Friday, April 13

2-6 p.m. —The After Garden Get Down will be open to the public at Bluewater Grill. It directly follows the Azalea Luncheon Garden Party, a private event.
7 p.m.38 Special with Tuesdays Gone will perform at the Azalea Festival Main Stage in downtown Wilmington. Tickets are available online for $23.

Saturday, April 14

8:30-9 a.m. —Ahead of the parade, runners will hit downtown Wilmington for the MGC Parade Mile. The one-mile race will take place along the Azalea Festival Parade route. Registration is still open.
9:30 a.m.12 p.m. —The 71st annual North Carolina Azalea Festival Parade will take place in downtown Wilmington. Viewing areas available on 3rd Street, Market Street and Bladen Street. The parade is free to attend.
4-6 p.m. —An Old School Concert will take place at the Greenfield Lake Amphitheater. The Ying Yang Twins, Chubb Rock, the Hamiltones and Special Guest Othaz Records are scheduled to perform. Tickets will be available at the box office for $35.
7 p.m. —Ludacris with Childish Major will perform downtown at the Azalea Festival’s Mainstage. Tickets are $46 and still available.
7:30-11:30 p.m. —For $10, dancers can show their stuff at the Riverwalk Shag Contest at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside.
9-9:30 p.m.Fireworks will be presented over the Cape Fear River. This event is free of charge.

Sunday, April 15

4-8 p.m. —The Festival Finale will wrap things up at Bluewater Grill. It is a free event that will feature live music.

All weekend

  • Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Tour — From 8:30 a.m. April 13 through April 15, the Azalea Garden Tour will tour distinguished gardens in the area.  A full garden tour map is available online. Tickets are $25.
  • The North Carolina Azalea Festival Home Tour will feature 11 distinguished homes in the area. To preview an interesting home that will be on this year’s lineup, check out this week’s Where We Live. Tickets are available before April 13 for $30 and after for $35.
  • The Waterfront Street Fair will kick off Friday, April 13, at noon. Street fair happenings will continue through late Sunday afternoon. The street fair will include over 250 vendors and is free of charge to attend. It will include
  • A Boxing Tournament will take place Saturday and Sunday featuring boxers from military branches and national and international levels of competition. It is free to attend and will take place at the Wilmington Convention Center.
  • More than 30 dealers will be available at the weekend-long Coin Show. It is free to attend and will take place at the Elks Lodge.
For all things Azalea, visit

Johanna Ferebee can be reached at or @j__ferebee on Twitter

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