NC Azalea Festival committee meets for the first time post-Florence

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –  For the first time since the storm, the board of the biggest event in Wilmington, the North Carolina Azalea Festival, met Monday to talk about the 2019 NC Azalea Festival.

The conversation for festival committee members centered as much around the welfare of volunteers impacted by the storm as much as it was about returning to the planning board.

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This year will mark more than 70 years that Wilmington has held the spring event. The committee is talking over the famed venues that host festival events and how the storm impacted them.

One in particular is Airlie Gardens. It currently sits closed due to damage from Florence.

Fortunately, the festival is not until April. The committee plans to hold several volunteer events to help get the gardens back to fit shape for the event.

“The big issue is after we have a storm like this is are they going to be worthy and ready for an event at the scale and the scope that we are wanting to hold there,” said festival committee President Jonathan Hedge. “At this point we feel like all of the venues are going to come together there’s no doubt about it.”

Hedge alongside Executive Director Alison English tell us they plan to take the damage done to several venues and use that in some way to promote the upcoming 2019 festival.