November 8th, 2016


When a crowd gathers around the steps of the Lenoir County Courthouse to kick off the 2016 Holly Day Celebration on the Neuse, they will be met by two of Kinston's luminaries: Ben Knight of the Chef and the Farmer and Boiler Room restaurants, and Wade Howell, the new general manager of the Down East Wood Ducks baseball team.

Ben Wade

"These two leaders represent great business achievements as well as outstanding civic aspirations for our town, and we are pleased they have agreed to help us launch this seasonal and joyful event," according to Pride of Kinston.

The courthouse ceremony to light the community Christmas tree, the Queen Street hollies and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Holly Days is set for 6:00 pm Nov. 29, 2016.

Program Line-up:

  1. Kinston High School Band
  2. Boys and Girls Singers
  3. Arendell Parrott Academy chorus
  4. Appearances by Miss Kinston - Lenoir County and Miss Kinston-Lenoir County Outstanding Teen
  5. Chris Sugg of Kinston Teens
  6. And popular Minions

Christmas Tree

The groups will gather around the plunger to light to Community Christmas Tree and Queen Street hollies.

At approximately 6:30 pm, the cheery band will march to Herritage Landing to be joined by strolling singers, shoppers visiting boutiques, galleries, museums, restaurants and horse and buggy rides.

It is hoped that all the shops, eateries, galleries and museums will be open to greet Holly Days celebrants. The pathways will be lit by luminaries to guide Holly Days participants along the way.

The 10th anniversary is being named: "A Celebration of New Life for Kinston's Downtown" acknowledging the business growth in downtown over the past 10 years, the success bringing baseball back to Kinston, and the success of the Chef and the Farmer and its related PBS feature "A Chef's Life," according to Adrian King, Pride director and organizer of the event.

Support by local retail and other organization, Lenoir County, the City of Kinston and the Kinston-Lenoir Parks & Recreation Department have made Holly Days a success over the past 10 years, he said.


The new North Street Pub & Eatery, 115 W. North Street, has taken on the ambiance of a neighborhood bar and socializing spot for the young and young-at-heart.

Proprietors Nick and Jennifer Rapoza have installed an ATM machine for easy access to cash, a Touch Tune Photo Booth for music and selfies, a Toy Taker and other brightly lighted, arcade-like installations for those who enjoy hunched over addictive electronic games to while away a few hours. The space was once occupied by the Folded Napkin Restaurant, and is in a building owned by businessman Ben Harper.


North Street Pub and Eatery proprietor Jennifer Rapoza shows off some of the entertainment features of the new establishment at 115 North Street in the middle of downtown Kinston.

Tables and booths are in place for dining customers who will be offered a menu of burgers, wings, wraps and other delicacies along with coffee, soft drinks and adult beverages. A full bar will be available, according to Ms. Rapoza.

The pub's bar is decorated with 15,000 pennies, according to Mr. Rapoza

Hours for the pub will be from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm Sunday thru Thursday, Friday and Saturday hours will be from 11:00 am to 3:00 am during which a late night breakfast will be available. Opening is "within the next two weeks," according to Ms. Rapoza.

With cooperation by local churches, a free Thanksgiving meal will be offered November 24 to patrons who cannot afford a Thanksgiving dinner. "This is something our family wants to do," according to Ms. Rapoza.

Phone number for the pub is 252-522-0056.

January 26th, 2016


Downtown Kinston Small Business Incubator offers spaces for lease with shared receptionist and lobby.

Call 252-525-6144.

Enticing new investors

Pride of Kinston is ramping up its efforts to attract new investors to the downtown business district.317 - 321 N. Queen Street

A growing campaign to highlight properties available for lease or purchase details information about each under the Invest in Downtown site on Pride’s website.

A project of Pride’s Economic and Property Development committee headed by Stuart Lindley, buildings deemed to be in good condition and available for immediate use are candidates for the enlarged promotional effort.

The current listing includes:
109 S. Queen Street
317 N. Queen Street
311 N. Queen Street


"The vision of Pride of Kinston, Inc. is a downtown on the banks of the Neuse River that serves as the gateway to Eastern North Carolina. Our appreciation of history guides our future and promotes the magic to grow business, recreation, and the arts."

Show your PRIDE!

Order your Kinston license tag to display on the front of your automobiles. Click a plate to download a printable order form for the plate you want...

All-America City

Chartered 1762


What Is Pride of Kinston?

The mission of Pride of Kinston, Inc., established in 1984, is to lead downtown revitalization in Kinston using the Main Street approach developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which promotes economic development within the context of historic preservation.

Pride of Kinston is one of 57 Main Street communities in North Carolina in a program coordinated by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Community Assistance. ( For more information about Pride of Kinston, see About Pride.

Pride of Kinston

Dining Downtown Kinston
Downtown Dining  

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Invest in Downtown Kinston
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Sand in the Streets

Sand in the Streets

Sand in the Streets, Kinston's legendary Thursday night music-in-the-park series runs June through August! We have a great lineup for 2016.

Sponsor 'Sand' Concerts

Sponsors for Sand in the Streets Outdoor Concerts are welcomed.

For more information and online sponsorship form, click here...

Click here to see a complete list of sponsors from our 10-year history.

Explore Downtown Kinston

Whether you have the whole day in town, or just a little time to kick around, take the Kinston Krawl to build up your appetite and experience the flavor of downtown Kinston.

WE NEED YOUR HELP! Maplewood-Cedar Grove-Hebrew Cemeteries Project

To complete this project, we need your help! Please donate today.

Maplewood Entry Sketch

Pride of Kinston's participation in the project is aimed at improving the appearance of a major entrance into the city's downtown while acknowledging the historical significance of the cemeteries. Read more...


Run for the River

2015 Pride of Kinston 8000 Run for the River

Mar. 28, 2015

Run for the River

2015 Results!

There's Always Something Going On in Downtown Kinston

Click here for current calendar of upcoming events...

Downtown Needs Survey

Please take part in this survey. We're seeking your view of the top five needs of your business.

From the Executive Director...

Adrian King's comments on community investment...

Board & Committee
Meeting Schedule

Sand in the Streets

25th Anniversary of Pride of Kinston

Visit the Images of Kinston-Lenoir County Magazine

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Pride of Kinston • 327 North Queen Street • Kinston, NC 28501• (252) 522-4676
Located in the Kinston Enterprise Center

Artist Bruce D. Ziegler has generously made available to Pride his portrait of
downtown Kinston as signature for Pride's website.