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Does the Azalea Festival do all it can to be inclusive?

Kevin Maurer

Kids enjoy the 2013 N.C. Azalea Festival Parade on April 13, 2013. StarNews photo by Laura Greene.

I think the Azalea Festival is great, creating an environment that citizens can come together. However, throughout my lifetime I have noticed that usually (not always) this festival is only catered to one ethnic group of people. Very rarely are the festival events attractive to the minority population or the diverse culture that makes up the city of Wilmington. This is also true through the makeup of the festival’s committee members. Not many are of the “other” persuasion. I as a citizen of this community would like to see this event more inclusive of all the cultures and ethnicities that make up our community. Can the committee seek ideas from locals to improve the attractiveness of the festival?

A. Donna Cameron, the 2013 North Carolina Azalea Festival president, said the festival is a “nationally recognized showcase “of the community full of “diverse” events ranging from artwork to gardens to history.

“These events are for persons of all backgrounds, ages, and interests,” Cameron said. “These events provide the opportunity to showcase our history, culture, and the extraordinary diverse talent of children, the youth, adults, and seniors of all cultures and backgrounds representing the incredible people of this community.”

She said volunteers work year around and the festival is always looking for help.

“The North Carolina Azalea Festival held Volunteer Orientation events which were well attended by many individuals who demonstrated great enthusiasm to become a part of the organization. In addition, the festival encourages new ideas/events organized by our volunteers which support our overall mission for the festival,” she said. “The volunteer application is available at the Festival Headquarters and is located on the North Carolina Azalea Festival website. In addition, our Facebook page solicits individuals to join our Volunteer Family as well! Come join us!!!!”


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