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2020 North Carolina Azalea Festival Parade Entries

April 04, 2020

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Please note the new Registration and Payment Dates for this year!

If you already paid in 202o your payment will be comped.  A question will be asked in the registration if you have already paid and if you answer yes we will confirm this and let you know that you are paid in your approval email.  

Parade Info and Entry Fees

The 74th North Carolina Azalea Festival Parade will be held Saturday, April 10, 2021, and will follow the historic 1-mile long Parade route in downtown Wilmington on 3rd St. It is important that we put on an entertaining and engaging show for both attendees and television viewers alike.  We ask that you submit and decorate your unit accordingly and not only positively represent your group, but represent the pride and joy that flows from participating in one of our oldest community events.

Float Building Guide: We have included a simple guide on how to create your own float from two different trailer types.  Click the link to download and print a Float Building Guide on making your own float.  

***Please note, float design expenses and decorations will be at the expense of the participant.  No funding to create your own float is available through the North Carolina Azalea Festival.   

New as of last year...Official 501c3 designated Non-Profit groups are $50 to participate.  

Businesses - If you are entering the Parade as a business you will have four options.  

***These options are designed to create great Parade entries.  These options also give businesses the ability to help bring school bands to the Parade by sponsoring them or helping a 501c3 Non-Profit to have access to a float.  If you have a fun and exciting idea for an entry that does not fit one of the following categories, please contact the Parade committee.***

  1. Enter a float (Two options: (1) Provide your own =$350 entry fee or (2) Rent one through the Festival= $1150 entry fee).
  2. Sponsor a non-profit float, this will include a banner on the group's float showing sponsorship ($1150 entry fee)
  3. Sponsor a school marching band ($500 entry fee)
  4. Sponsor a giant character balloon, this will include a 10ft banner with the balloon with your organization name or logo showing sponsorship. Can have employees or group members walk the balloon along the route. (Helium floating in air $5,000 or Cold Air Balloon riding on the platform down route $3,500).  Cost can be split between 2 or 3 businesses.  Please contact the parade committee for interest in balloon entries.  

Giant Inflatables - Helium and Cold Air Balloons

In 2015 we introduced our first Cold Air Balloons Kermit and Elmo.  In 2016 we introduced our first Helium Balloon, Abby Caddaby.  Our balloon suppliers have almost any mainstream character such as Babar, Bear in the Big Blue House, Aladdin, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Baby Smurf, etc.  With the giant inflatable balloon entry rental, you can choose your character and receive a 10ft banner showing your organization's name or logo sponsoring the balloon.  You can also have employees or members of your organization walk the balloon down the route in matching shirts or have a vehicle follow in front or behind the balloon.  The balloons range from 15 to 40 feet in height.  Please register-contact us for more information and to select your balloon.  


Unit Type and Entry Fee

Standard Unit Entry

The price for each unit to enter the parade $350.00. (If you have your own float it is $350.00.  If you would like to rent a float see Float Rental Entry below.) This does not apply to Queen/Princess Entries, there is special pricing for these units, see below Queen/Princess Entry.

Official 501-C3 Charitable Non-Profit Entry

If you are an official 501-c3 Non-Profit the regular entry fee is $50.  You will need to submit official 501-c3 documentation.  The special cost for an official 501c3 to rent a float is $850, this fee includes the float rental and the entry fee.  This does not apply to Queen/Princess Entries riding in cars.  There is a special price for these units, see below Queen/Princess Entry).

Other Non-Profit or Community Organization not designated 501-c3 Entry

If your group is not an official 501-c Non-Profit the standard Unit Entry fee applies of $350. Please see information on Float rental below.

Veterans Groups

The price for veterans groups is $10 per group.  If you would like to participate in the Veterans Council Umbrella please contact them directly to be incorporated into this.  Each group within the Council is still separately acknowledged as an individual group with announcer commentary and is $10 per group.  The Veterans Council handles collecting each participating group's fees.

Float Rental Entry

The price for businesses and organizations to enter the parade and rent a float through the North Carolina Azalea Festival is $1,150.00.  This fee includes a black and white banner on the side of the float with your organization/business name on it.  The fee also includes azaleas to be displayed on your float during the Parade.  Distribution of azaleas will take place the morning of the Parade and will be collected immediately after the parade.  

School (or) Military Marching Bands & JROTC Unit Entry

Free!! (Does not apply to Community or Show Bands). 

Giant Inflatable Balloon Rental Entry

With the giant inflatable balloon rental, you can choose from a variety of available balloon characters, such as Elmo or Cookie Monster that can go down the Parade route.  The balloons are 15 to 45 feet in height and Cold Air (on the ground) or Helium (floating in the air).  We will provide a 10' Banner with your organization's name and or logo showing sponsorship.   We will also provide the volunteers to walk the balloon and banner down the route or you can have people from your organization in matching shirts walk with the balloon for added impact.  One vehicle with the balloon is also permitted.  

Motor Club (Legitimate Car Clubs & Motorcycle Clubs) Entry

The Festival only accepts a limited number of these groups.  The price to enter the Parade as a car club, motorcycle group, ATV group, etc. is $350.00 for the first 10 units and $25.00 per any additional unit over ten. (Unit being 1 car, 1 motorcycle, etc.)

Queen/Princess Car Entry

This is only for 1-2 Queens/Princesses wishing to participate riding in a car.  Any Queen or Princess groups that wish to have a float must register as a Community Organization.  The standard Float entry fee will apply. See Community Organization info above.  To ride in a car the price to enter the Parade as a queen or princess is $150.00 PER person(Queen or Princess).  2 people riding in the same car is $300.  Signs will be provided for vehicles.  Please provide your own vehicle.  The Azalea Festival may be able to help entries find or locate a vehicle and/or driver in certain situations, please contact the Parade Committee to see if we can help get you in contact with someone.  

Horse Group Entry

The price to enter the parade as a horse group is $350.00.  **Coggins documents must be presented for the event on each horse.


  • September 2 - November 31:  Early registration discount applies:  

All paying groups except official 501C-3 Nonprofits paying $50 fee shall receive an early bird discount of $50.00 and all individuals shall receive a discount of $25.00.    

  • December 1 - Feb 15:  Normal pricing will apply to the payment.
  • Registration Closes Feb 15.
  • Late Fee of $75.00 late fee will apply to all paying units from Feb 16th to March 1st. Participants must have payment in by Feb 15th or within 2 weeks of approval, whichever is later.  
  • Any unpaid applications after March 1st will be subject to cancellation.


***We must limit the number of parade entries and will be accepting the best entries to participate.  The Parade Committee will review the applications for approval so please sign up early and make sure your entry is Parade appropriate, fun, and crowd-pleasing!!***

Please apply for the Parade by submitting your application online.  Please check the appropriate registrant/unit type for your group and follow the instructions.  You will be contacted via the email you provide for acceptance into the Parade.  You can log into your account at any time to change information by using your email and password.


Please do not submit payment until your unit has been notified of approval by the Parade Committee and accepted into the Parade.   Once accepted, a representative will send you a notification by email with instructions on submitting fees.  Units must pay in full by Feb 15 or within 2 weeks of approval.  A late fee of $75.00 will apply to all approved applicants who have not paid in full by the deadline of Feb 15th.  Late fees will incur from Feb 16th - March 1st.   If payment is not received by March 1st your unit may not be allowed to participate in the Parade.  The cutoff date for applications to be submitted is Feb 15th.

Questions/Contact:  Parade Line: 910-794-3103 or megtadlock@ncazaleafestival.org.


The Parade is Presented by United Rentals