A Bigger Azalea Festival

Organizers hope an increase in community support will lead to more visitors for the event.

Organizers of the Annual Azalea Festival say having a just few major sponsors could help turn the event into a major regional celebration.

"We want to get to a point where we have a hundred thousand people coming to our community, which means that for a community of our size, that's a huge impact, and you've got hotels, the food, the shops, everything that will feel it, all trickles down into our economy,” explains Sponsorship Director Jordan Haines.

To help make the event, which is held in early March, organizers decided to make the festival longer.

"Now we'll have activities on Friday night, all day Saturday, all day Sunday. Many people said, I can't come to the park on Saturday, so we decided to expand it into Sunday so that those people could participate,” says Joanne Griner, Festival Chairman.

The festival, started with just 8,000 visitors, and has grown to more than 18,000 visitors in just its third year.

But the expanded Azalea Festival will cost more to produce, and organizers hope enough sponsors will come forward to help them reach their goals of a Grand Azalea Festival.

Sponsorship of the event begins at $100, and tops out at more than $7,000.