WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The North Carolina Azalea Festival announced its 69th Queen Azalea on Thursday.
UNC Wilmington graduate Anna Kooiman will serve as Queen Azalea. Kooiman works for Fox News in New York City as an anchor and co-host for the show, Fox and Friends Weekend.
Also invited to the festival are several celebrities and special guests. Among them are retired four star General Dan McNeil, Good Times actress and Alzheimer's spokeswoman Bern Nadette Stanis, Nickelodeon actress Brec Bassinger, former NC Secretary of Transportation and author Tony Tata and distinguished NC author Kristy Woodson Harvey.
Also invited are Lifestyle brand Society Social owner and designer Roxy Te, American Idol Season 14 runner-up Clark Beckham, Miss North Carolina Kate Peacock, 2016 Festival Artist Mary Ellen Golden, and Azalea Festival Princess Lilly Kays.
Festival President Robby Collins said he is proud to have an Azalea Festival Queen with Wilmington ties.
"I couldn't be more thrilled to bring Anna back to the Port City . . . I'm proud to be able to give the honor of Queen Azalea to someone with ties to our city , and know she will represent the Festival and Wilmington well," said Collins.
Mobile users can see a slideshow of the queen and the special guests here.