Earlier this month, Wilmington celebrated the 63rd annual North Carolina Azalea Festival. Gorgeous weather, fun activities for the family, an impressive parade, and a host of street vendors combined for a true festival atmosphere. As always, it was a great family event, with lots to do and see. The festival kicked off on Wednesday, the 7th, with the Queen’s Coronation, with the Goo Goo Dolls performing on Thursday, and the Cole Brothers Circus in town all weekend. The garden tours started on Friday with the ribbon cutting and continued through the weekend, with the antebellum-clad Azalea Belles welcoming visitors to the gardens. The parade on Saturday was impressive, showcasing everything from circus animals to marching bands and antique cars. Also on Saturday, the inflatable slides and rides were set up downtown along the waterway, which was a big hit with the kids, all at no charge. It was a superb event, and just another ingredient of what makes our corner of southeastern North Carolina such a great place to live.