Q. Are the parades supposed to take as long as the last two have? I am not trying to be ugly, but some floats were literally 10 minutes apart.
A. We spoke with Meghan Tadlock, the N.C. Azalea Festival Parade Administrator before the event this year. She said the “ideal” parade duration approximately two and a half to two hours and 45 minutes. The spacing of the roughly 150 participants is designed to ensure the reigning Queen Azalea’s arrival at City Hall for a 12 p.m. television broadcast. Tadlock noted that while the committee thinks of that point as the “finish line,” it could be 12:30 p.m. or later before the procession reaches spectators further down the route.
As photographers for the StarNews, both Matt Born and myself have covered the event for the past decade. Discussions about the event’s duration and frequent gaps between entries are nothing new, although one significant factor may have played into the perceived foot-dragging this year.
Tadlock noted that while marching bands are ever-popular participants, spring break for area school systems clashed with the festival’s calendar this year preventing the crowd favorites from performing.
NOTE: Paul Stephen is a former StarNews photographer who is now our food writer.
Date posted: April 15, 2014
User-contributed question by: