Three of our biggest festivals kick off our Springtime around
Wilmington. The 66th Azalea Festival opens five days of celebrations on Wednesday with the Queen’s coronation. Fans of the Festival will want to remember this one thing. Remember to put “AzaleaFestival” and “enjoywilmington.com” together to get
the easiest to use schedule of Festival activities. Enter AzaleaFestival.EnjoyWilmington.com
in your web browser and it will take you straight to our schedule of Azalea Festival activities. Just down the peninsula, Carolina
Beach hosts its Chowder Cookoff this Saturday. The next weekend brings Rims on the River to town with
its celebration of antique autos. And it’s time to dig out those bottles of sun screen and enjoy the beach. Find events, restaurants,
lodging and more on the website at EnjoyWilmington.com
Azalea Festival means Springtime
Wilmington has heralded the arrival of Spring for 66 years with the world famous Azalea Festival. From arts to visiting ships, from boxing to the Azalea Queen’s coronation, the festival is varied and offers something for everyone. Mayor Saffo will crown this year’s Queen Wednesday at 3 pm in Riverfront Park. Cole Brothers Circus opens Thursday at ILM airport. And then we head into four days of music concerts, a street fair, bands and performers, a juried art show, boxing, visiting ships, even a coin show, and on Saturday, the Parade.
Two different stages, a Main Stage and a Multi-Cultural stage, provide free entertainment Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Three different outdoor concerts highlight the evenings. Lynyrd Skynyrd kicks off the series with a Thursday night show, followed by The Avett Brothers on Friday night, and Colt Ford and the LACS on Saturday night. All three shows are on the CFCC campus in Downtown Wilmington, a move from last year’s venue on UNCW’s campus.
The Historic Wilmington Foundation adds to the event with a tour of historic homes and the Cape Fear Garden Club adds to the event with a tour of beautiful gardens.
The entire schedule can be found at http://azaleafestival.enjoywilmington.com
Chowder Cook Off
For something very different, head down the road to Carolina Beach this Saturday and enjoy the Pleasure Island Chowder Cook Off. CB restaurants gather in Carolina Beach Lake Park to offer their best take on Chowder. You can sample all the chowders for only $5 while being entertained by the Mark Roberts Band. The tastings begin at Noon. Find more about this and other Carolina Beach events at CB Events.
Rims on the River
It’s time for a nostalgic visit to the cars of our youth and the metal and chrome that inspired them. Rims on the River fills downtown Wilmington Friday the 19th thru Sunday the 21st. The main event is Saturday. Folks showing cars can register at 9 am with the show open to the public at 11 am. It’s all day and free to look. But bring your checkbook, there are cars for sale. The Detroit Cobras headline a free concert in Riverfront Park that evening. Sunday is a free day for local car owners.
And We Still Have All the Regular Entertainment and Events:
The locavore movement continues in Wilmington. Front Street Brewery is pairing its beers with N.C. products this Thursday evening for a Beer Pairing Dinner. North Carolina meats, fish and produce will be presented in five courses each paired with a FSB beer or a NoDa brew. Call the Brewery to reserve your spot.
You can find a profile of two interesting part-time dining spots on Our Blog.
Arts for All
There’s always plenty of art around here. Be sure to check out the Ivey Hayes exhibit at Bellamy Mansion. This eastern NC native created in vivid colors over his 30 year career. Look around downtown for the Pedestrian Art. This popular program, revived after a hiatus, displays large scale objets d’art in downtown locations. The very popular “Southern Hospitality” venus fly trap at the foot of Market Street began as an exhibit in “Ped Art.” Find more about the arts events at Our Arts.
For the Kids
“Dar He” highlights the many interesting programs designed for kids. Dar He is the story of Emmett Till, the young Chicago/Mississippi boy whose murder served as a major spur to advance the Civil Rights movement. It’s at Thalian on the 19th.
Wilmington’s Children’s Museum and Cape Fear Museum among other organizations always have a host of offerings for the young among us. Parents will want to check out “Parents Night Out” at Carolina Gymnastics. Parents can drop off their kids Friday and Saturday night for safe, free play while the folks have a night out.
Find more about all of these events at Kids Events.
Celebrate Nature with a Plant or a Walk
Today, we wrap up the Arboretum’s annual plant sale. But don’t worry, there’s another plant sale. The Hobby Greenhouse is holding its annual plant sale Friday and Saturday at 2318 Metts Avenue. You can get closer to nature with ranger guided walks and talks at Carolina Beach State Park. Find more on these events at Our Nature.
Our American History
A very special event takes place next weekend when the men who served aboard the battleship USS North Carolina hold their Annual Crew Reunion. These men of “the Greatest Generation” gather to renew acquaintances and remember what they did, together, for all of us. The Battleship will hold a “Battleship Alive’ program later this month and the Latimer house is hosting a series of history talks. Find more about these at Our History.
Our Very Varied Music
UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium is bringing Opera to the people. The University’s WOOP program is designed to make Opera more accessible. It’s this weekend. Greenfield Lake Amphitheater is also bringing music to the people. Reel Big Fish, Mike Pinto, and Dubtown Cosmonauts headline an evening of music and tastings from R. A. Jeffreys. Find details about these events and many more at Our Music.
Film and Dance
Cinematique, the film event cosponsored by WHQR and Thalian Hall, brings Barbara to the silver screen. This Cold War thriller follows Barbara as she is torn between the east and west. Satellite Bar brings Time Bandits Brazil to their Tuesday night movie night. Find more about our films at Our Film.
Dancers will enjoy dancing with Cape fear Contra Dancers or Azalea Coast Ballroom dancers this week. Check these events at Our Dance.
And there’s more to do
We have lots of sports events that you can find at Our Sports. You can find great theater at Our Theater. Or just check out the whole schedule at Our Events. We have all kinds of restaurants that you can find and search at Dine Here. And you can find lodging at Our Hotels and more. Use the search function (look for the binoculars) to refine your search.
Our Nonprofit Event of the Week
April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. Area nonprofits are hosting a series of events to call attention to this problem and offer constructive answers. Tonight the New Hanover County Commission is expected to issue a proclamation recognizing the month and calling attention to the problem. Find details of that event and more events on the nonprofit website www.WilmingtonGivesBack.org and at CAPP.
Find your nonprofit
We have a robust nonprofit community around southeastern North Carolina. You can find a great directory of nonprofits at www.WilmingtonGivesBack.org or find a calendar of nonprofit events at SENC Nonprofit Events.
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