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Why were the floats spaced so far apart in this year’s Azalea Festival Parade?

Paul Stephen
StarNews
The N.C. Azalea Festival Parade took place in downtown Wilmington on April 12, 2014. StarNews photo by Matt Born.

The N.C. Azalea Festival Parade took place in downtown Wilmington on April 12, 2014. StarNews photo by Matt Born.

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.

RELATED LINKS:

The Azalea Festival Parade was great but wondering why were several of the big floats empty?

Why do so few marching bands participate in the N.C. Azalea Festival parade?

Are scouting organizations invited to march in the Azalea Festival Parade?

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4 Responses to “ Why were the floats spaced so far apart in this year’s Azalea Festival Parade?”

  1. On April 15, 2014 at 4:14 pm elizabeth woodside wrote:

    All four NHCS marching bands played together because students are on spring break. There was too much commercialism, politics, and disrespect from individual car drivers, like Jeep driver who ran into a pedestrian as we lined up for parade. Number of entrants should be limited, and higher standards developed for participation.

  2. On April 16, 2014 at 7:49 am frederick wrote:

    Why were high schools bands charged $200 to march in the Parade. I know New Hanover may not participate in the future.

  3. On April 16, 2014 at 11:32 am Si Cantwell wrote:

    In 2011, Azalea Festival Parade chairman John Russ said the festival waives registration fees for bands.
    http://www.myreporter.com/?p=10235

  4. On April 18, 2014 at 7:51 am Vic Mackey wrote:

    Well…the answers that were given in the article didn’t address the question whatsoever…it spoke of the length of the parade…No answer to the GAPS…the parade has gotten horrible over the years and continues to decline…Shorten to 2 hours, max…use local people, showcase the local talent, the high school bands, the ROTC programs and celebrate the Azaleas…NOT the B-list celebrities that you always get.



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