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Whatever happened to the Azalea Festival variety shows at Legion Stadium?

Mike Voorheis

A variety show featuring several bands and solo acts performing live music as well as a comedian made a return to the N.C. Azalea Festival in 2009. The festival featured an evening show inside Legion Stadium for many years, but the last one was several years earlier. One of very free entertainment venues available to festival goers, the 2009 version was hosted on the open field behind Legion. Staff Photo by PAUL STEPHEN

 The Azalea Festival variety show once included national musical acts such as Porter Wagoner and a young George Strait. It was moved away from Legion Stadium about 15 years ago, said Hank Estep, president of the 2011 festival.

Held in conjunction with the street fair, the variety show eventually became part of the street fair. The street fair has three performance stages – the main music stage, the contemporary Christian music stage and the children’s stage, Estep said.

Around 2000, the variety show was no longer a separate entity.

In 2009, the festival committee resurrected the variety show. The show drew about 1,000 fans to Legion Stadium as L Shape Lot performed.

However, the committee decided not to hold the variety show in subsequent years. Estep cited inadequate attendance as the primary reason for not holding the variety show.


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2 Responses to “ Whatever happened to the Azalea Festival variety shows at Legion Stadium?”

  1. On March 16, 2012 at 6:21 am Stanley wrote:

    The biggest reason for the decline in attendance is no name acts that most people have not heard of. The same with the queens. The festival just has not been what it was for many years. As a cousin use to always say, “You have to spend money to make money” and the committee ether doesn’t have the capital or spend what the have on to many projects and doesn’t have the money left to draw real talent.

  2. On March 24, 2012 at 11:11 pm Susan Crawford wrote:

    The Variety show was about the only thing young families with children could afford to do together for the Azalea Festival. It seems to be more geared to those folks in town that fancy themselves high society and to the college kids.The Variety Show was a great way for families and low income persons to be able to be a part of the festival.

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