Crowns of the North Carolina Azalea Festival

Since the first ever Azalea Festival in 1948, every single Azalea Queen has worn the same crown.

Since the first ever Azalea Festival in 1948, every single Azalea Queen has worn the same crown.

It has never been replaced, despite some normal wear and tear over the years.

There were talks of getting a new crown about four or five years back, but the Azalea Festival committee ultimately decided to keep the original. For now at least.

Over the past seven decades, the crown has sat atop of heads such as Phylicia Rashad (1985), Esther Williams (1958), and even Kelly Ripa (1993).

Azalea Queens attend almost every event of the North Carolina Azalea Festival including the garden tour, home tour, concerts, visits to the children’s hospital, the parade, and much more.

The official Azalea Princess also attends a number of events including the parade, children’s tea, coin show, garden party and more.

The princess acts as a representative of the youth in Wilmington for the year.

NC Azalea Festival Princess crown 2019.
NC Azalea Festival Princess crown 2019.

 

North Carolina Azalea Festival History:

In 1934 Dr. Houston Moore recruited local clubs to transform the “un-kept, swampy Greenfield Lake into a beautiful landscaped park.”

It took just about 10 years for the park to transform but once it did, Moore wanted to show it off to the world.

He came up with the idea of a festival to be held every year “when the flowers burst into bloom.”

In 1948, his vision came to life with the first ever North Carolina Azalea Festival.

The festival drew over 60,000 people to the area that first year to take in the beautiful artwork, gardens, history and culture that the Port City had to offer.

Mr. Hugh Morton was the first Azalea Festival President that year.

You can read a letter he wrote about his time as Azalea president here.

Since the festival’s beginnings, its mission has been to encourage “volunteerism and civic participation as it contributes to the region’s economy and promotes the unique qualities of Wilmington’s river-to-the-sea community.

This year the official North Carolina Azalea Festival will be held from April 3 – 7. You can view all events and activities here.