Monthly Archives: March 2016

Boats, Belles, and Boxing Gloves: Exploring Azalea Festival


The sidewalks are filled with people, though Historic Downtown Wilmington is still several blocks away. Dazzling yellows, deep whites, rich, bold reds and pinks fill the air, the spring flowers in full bloom, and the woman on the corner is adjusting her hoop skirt.

The young woman’s sweeping curls and regal attire call to mind a fairy princess, readjusting her magic. It’s the 69th Annual North Carolina Azalea Festival, however, not Cinderella’s ball, and our Belle’s on her way to the Azalea Festival Parade (so is “Abby Cadabby,” the Festival’s premier high-flying helium balloon).

North Carolina Azalea Festival Parade

Colors on Parade

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Boot Camp by the Marina

“Looking for a new exercise opportunity?” I sipped my morning coffee and scrolled through Marybeth’s post on my facebook feed.

USCGC DILIFit on Wilmington's Riverwalk

Squat Photo Opp

DILI Fit, said the link, a free community exercise program with the crew of the USCGC Diligence. “Work out with the Coast Guard!” read the very catchy headline. Continue reading

Pier 33 Ready to “Rock the Dock”

Pier 33-NC Bandshell Port City Marina

Bandshell in Blue

Wilmington’s signature sunshine beams across Pier 33, highlighting the clean lines of Port City Marina’s new soundstage. As the sun sinks lower, strands of twinkling lights illuminate the oncoming dusk, which falls later and later these days. Overhead, the new band shell stretches its open limbs, its sleek, modern lines accenting the unparalleled views of the Cape Fear River.

Concert season is upon us, and Port City Marina is ready to Rock the Dock.

Starting with March 17’s Shamrock and Roll, Rock the Dock will cater to concert-goers keen on outdoor festivals, those who like their music against a natural backdrop. As the music lineup gains momentum, new artists and name-brand musicians across a multitude of genres, will find their way to Pier 33, with featured shows slated for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and of course, over Labor Day weekend.

BMG and Full House Productions, behind some of North—and South—Carolina’s most vibrant events, are filling the band shell with music. From Myrtle Beach’s Carolina Country Music Fest, including artists like Tim McGraw and Keith Urban, to Charlotte’s hip après-workday concert series, Alive after Five, BMG and Full House Productions will amplify the sound, and the energy, around Pier 33’s floating festival venue. Continue reading

Macchiato by the Marina

“Today’s Special–Peruvian Mocha Au Lait” says the sidewalk sign on North 4th Street, right outside Folks Café. Just a few short blocks from Wilmington’s Port City Marina, Folks on Fourth houses the hungry, the friendly, those seeking quality caffeine and good conversation. Being so close to the Cape Fear River, the boats, yachts, and slips along the River Walk, Folks Cafe provides a warm, aromatic welcome to dry land.

Folks Cafe on North 4th Wilmington, NC

Foks Cafe on North 4th

“I still love the smell of roasting coffee,” says Tammy Pacini, nodding toward a little side room known as the Coffee Lab, where Juan Pacini roasts organic, fair-trade coffee.

Wafting through the walls, across the bike rack, then swirling around that sidewalk sign, the scent of fresh-ground Sumatra lures in passersby—cars pull over, bikers halt, pedestrians meander inside for a macchiato, an empanada, or a house specialty, straight from South America—el alfadore, a sublime mix of coconut, cookie, and dulce de leche. Continue reading