Azalea Festival Celebrities and Guests - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Azalea Festival Celebrities and Guests

Jack McDowell Jack McDowell
Frank Capra, Jr. Frank Capra, Jr.
John Ward John Ward
Kirsten Elrod Kirsten Elrod
Bridget Evelyn Bridget Evelyn

Celebrities and special guests help make up the Azalea Festival official party. They are escorted to and participate in festival events. The general public has the opportunity to see and sometimes meet and greet Festival VIPs at many events.


  • Jack "Blackjack" McDowell, former major league baseball player.  McDowell's career began in 1987.  He played for four teams, the White Sox, Yankees, Indians and Angels. He was a three-time American League All-Star from 1991-1993, and was the winning pitcher for the American League squad in 1993.
  • Frank Capra, Jr ., CEO of EUE/Screen Gems Studio. Capra’s extensive career spans over 49 years of producing and directing feature film, television, and documentary film, together with an impressive resume of teaching and awards. Capra was appointed President and CEO of EUE Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, which is considered the largest motion picture studio east of Hollywood. Capra will serve as the Azalea Festival parade marshal.
  • John Ward, Master of Ceremonies. Ward is the managing partner for Longboard Pictures, LLC, a motion picture production company in California. He is a screenplay writer for Longboard Pictures and made his 1997 directorial debut in Wilmington with the film Enchanted. A Wilmington native, Ward appeared in 27 motion pictures and television shows including the Wilmington-based productions of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Sleeping with the Enemy, Dream a little Dream, and several Matlock episodes.
  • Kirstin Marie Elrod , Miss North Carolina 2004. The 22-year-old holds a Bachelor of Music degree in opera performance and was named the second runner-up in the 2005 Miss America Pageant. Elrod hopes to advance her career in international musical theater, theater, and film.
  • Bridget Evelyn , Miss Greater Wilmington 2004. Evelyn is a 21-year-old senior at NC State University in Raleigh. She's majoring in communications and concentrating in mass media. She hopes to one day be a major network broadcast journalist.

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