2015 NC Azalea Festival…one for the record books!

CoronationJust two days ago we came home from what can only be described as one of the best week’s ever! The NC Azalea Festival has always been one of my favorite weeks of the entire year, but the magic of the 2015 Festival proved to be one for the record books (you can see a phenomenal video highlight by the incomparable Blueberry Creative here-https://vimeo.com/124847328). The was an awesome mix of great celebrities, Board members, staff, Queen’s Court and of course a totally awesome Queen Azalea-Mallory Hagan.

For the past 4 years Tim and I have had the pleasure and honor of escorting Queen Azalea. In those 4 years we have spent our Festival week traveling around Wilmington in the “Official Party” entourage (complete with police escorts) while riding in the Queen’s limo with some amazing women and their guests…3 Miss America’s and John Wayne’s granddaughter to be specific.  Each year the Queen brings her energy, charisma and excitement…this year was no exception!

To start the week, there is typically a private dinner on Tuesday evening.  Mallory jacquelineSort of a low key event-get to know you event before the official duties begin.  Liz Carroll, the 2015 Azalea Festival President, offered a wonderful and unique take on this dinner. She invited the very first Queen Azalea, Jacqueline White Anderson, to come and crown Mallory during the coronation ceremonies on Wednesday.  Liz hosted the dinner of all dinners! Not only did she have black and white pictures from 1948 (when Ms. Anderson was crowned), but she reset her home to make the perfect setting for the most beautiful dinner I have ever attended. Chef Keith Rhodes from “Catch” here in Wilmington presented a 7 course meal of epic proportions! It was the perfect start to the perfect week. Continue reading

NC Azalea Festival-Celebrate Spring Southern Style!

AZIn less than 24 hours Wilmington, NC will officially kick off the 68th annual NC Azalea Festival. This amazing tradition will bring Three time Olympic Gold Medalist, Keri Walsh Jennings; Retired US Air Force Colonel, Dan Hampton (he is also one most decorated fighter pilots since the Vietnam War) and Miss America 2013, Mallory Hagan just to name a few of the top notch celebrities that will be here this week.

To say it’s a festival is a little misleading. The NC Azalea Festival is an event that spans 5 days, has over 50 volunteer committees, more than 1,000 volunteers that work year round to put on one of the most fabulous events of the entire year and has an economic impact of over $50 million to this area!  It has been listed as one of the top events in the Southeastern part of the country for 15 years. Continue reading