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Azalea Festival ends another successful year

“Peace, Love and Azaleas” ended the 52nd annual Azalea Festival on a high note this year.

After a chilly start to the weekend Friday night and Saturday morning the crowds were slowly coming out. Then the temperatures started warming up Saturday and the crowds started piling in the rest of the weekend.

The Foothills Car Club organizers said the car show had more than 100 participants during the event Saturday which is more than recent years.

While visitors got to experience the first year of the Outhouse Races, organizers promise the event will keep growing, after only two teams participated Saturday.

“I think this event will pick up next year. A lot of people didn’t know what it was this year,” said JC Shetley, Azalea boar president.

The Fredericktown Fire Department defeated the University of Missouri Extension office in two heats.

The Azalea Festival kicked off Thursday night with the crowning of this year’s Prince Greyson Garcia and Princess June McCombs. Then Friday night, this year’s Azalea Queen, Courtney Holliday, was crowned. First runner up was Morgan Kopitsky and second runner up was Paige Umfleet.

There were lots of things for everyone to see and do throughout the weekend. Saturday morning the Rotary Club sponsored the pancake breakfast. There was an Azalea Fun Run and Walk, a 3-on-3 soccer tournament, arts and crafts, carnival rides, food, the car show, pet show, super farmer contest, the truck and tractor pulls, lots of live music and the “Glow Walk,” and much more. Sunday morning kicked off with two separate church services in the park, and then the weekend’s festivities wrapped up with the parade and the Dunaway Family Band in the park.

This year’s parade grand prize overall winner was Brooklyn Avenue Boutiques. In the youth category, first place was CATS. In the commercial category, first place was New Era Bank. In the Civic and Religious category, first place was March of Dimes.

For much more more, including hundreds of photos of the 52nd annual Azalea Festival, check out the B Section of this week’s Democrat News and visit

Maridee Lawson is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-783-3366 or

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