9 Apr 2016


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The Azalea Festival Parade continues to be one of Southeastern North Carolina’s largest annual event, with over 100,000 viewers each year.  Our traditional parade route flows right through the heart of Historic downtown Wilmington.  Floats, marching units and bands, clowns and horses, all highlighted by visiting celebrities, Queen Azalea and her court, and the Azalea Festival Princess await you!


We are always looking for new volunteers to become part of the team.  Parade Marshals escort parade units down the parade route and organize staging behind the scenes.  It is a fun and rewarding experience and volunteer credit can be given. Volunteers are provided breakfast and lunch on Parade Day and are invited to the Festival Volunteer Party!

Contact the Parade Committee at 910-794-3103 or parade@ncazaleafestival.org

The Parade will be held Saturday April 9, 2016 from 9:30am to 11:30am

Parade Route:  The Parade travels down 3rd street from Market St. to Bladen St.

Parking for spectators:  Parking decks on 2nd Street will be accessible via Chestnut Street until 8:30am. (Parking decks will not reopen until after the parade)

Seating:  Viewing is all along 3rd St with bleacher seating between Market St. and Grace St. (Bleacher Tickets can be purchased in the office or at the event for a higher cost.)

Handicap Parking and viewing:  Located off Chestnut Street between 3rd St. & 4th St next to the City of Wilmington Offices.

Please see our 2015 Parade Map HERE for locations and road closures.


BUSINESSES:  If you are entering the Parade as a business you will have four options.  ***These options are designed to create great Parade entries.  These options also give businesses the ability to help bring school bands to the Parade by sponsoring them or helping a 501c3 Non-Profit to have access to a float.  If you have a fun and exciting idea for an entry that does not fit one the following categories, please contact the Parade committee.***

  1. Enter a float (Two options: (1) Provide your own =$350 entry fee or (2) Rent one through the Festival= $1150 entry fee).
  2. Sponsor a non-profit float, this will include a banner on the groups float showing sponsorship ($1150 entry fee).
  3. Sponsor a school marching band ($500 entry fee).
  4. Sponsor a giant character balloon, this will include a banner with balloon showing sponsorship (Price will vary if single or multiple sponsorship balloon, contact office for details).

GIANT INFLATABLES – COLD AIR BALLOONS:  With the giant inflatable balloon rental you can choose from several different balloon options (such as Kermit the Frog) that can go down the Parade route.  The balloons are 15 to 30 feet in height and you can have a banner placed on them or follow on the ground.  You can have people and vehicles with the balloon.  Please contact our office for more info and pricing.


Standard Unit Entry

The price for each unit to enter the parade $350.00. (If you have your own float it is $350.00.  If you would like to rent a float see Float Rental Entry below.) This does not apply to Queen/Princess Entries, there is special pricing for these units, see below Queen/Princess Entry.

Official 501-C3 Charitable Non-Profit Entry

If you are an official 501-c3 Non-Profit the regular entry fee is $25.  You will need to submit official 501-c3 documentation.   The special cost for an official 501c3 to rent a float is $875, this fee includes the float rental and the entry fee.  This does not apply to Queen/Princess Entries riding in cars.  There is a special price for these units, see below Queen/Princess Entry)

Other Non-Profit or Community Organization not designated 501-c3 Entry

If your group is not an official 501-c Non-Profit the standard Unit Entry fee applies of $350. Please see information on Float rental below.

Float Rental Entry

The price for businesses and organizations to enter the parade and rent a float through the North Carolina Azalea Festival is $1,150.00.  This fee includes a black and white banner on the side of the float with your organization/business name on it.  The fee also includes azaleas to be displayed on your float during the Parade.  Distribution of azaleas will take place the morning of the Parade.

School (or) Military Marching Bands & JROTC Unit Entry


Giant Inflatable Balloon Rental Entry

With the giant inflatable balloon rental you can choose from several different balloon options that can go down the Parade route.  The balloons are 15 to 30 feet in height and you can have a banner placed on them or follow on the ground.  You can have people and vehicles with the balloon.

Car Club Entry

The price to enter the Parade as a car club, motorcycle group, ATV group, etc. is $350.00 for the first 10 units and $25.00 per any additional unit over ten. (Unit being 1 car, 1 motorcycle, etc.)

Queen/Princess Entry

The price to enter the Parade as a queen or princess is $150.00 PER QUEEN.  2 Queens riding in same car is $300.  Signs will be provided for vehicles.  Please provide your own vehicle.  The Azalea Festival may be able to help entries find or locate a vehicle and driver in certain situations, please contact the Parade Committee to see if any are available.

Horse Group Entry

The price to enter the parade as a horse group is $350.00.  If your group will incorporate the use of ATV’s, there is an additional fee of $250.00 for the first 10 units and $15.00 per unit thereafter.  Individual horse groups without ATV’s should complete one application.  **Coggins documents must be presented for the event on each horse.


October 1, 2015 – November 30, 2015 Early registration discount applies:

All paying groups except official 501C-3 Nonprofits paying $25 fee shall receive an early bird discount of $50.00 and all individuals shall receive a discount of $25.00.

December 1, 2015 – February 28, 2016 Normal pricing will apply on payment.

Late Fee of $75.00 late fee will apply to all paying units after February 28, 2016.

Registration Closes March 15, 2016 and unpaid applications will be cancelled.

APPLICATION FORM:  Please apply for the Parade by submitting your application online.  Please check the appropriate registrant/unit type for your group and follow the instructions.  You will be contacted via the email you provide for acceptance into the Parade.  You can log into your account at any time to change information by using your email and password.




Ticket Information

Parade Bleacher tickets will be for sale starting in the spring.

Location Map