November 18, 2014

The Eighth Holly Day Celebration Set to kick off Dec. 2, 2014

Shopping for the 2014 holiday season kicks off in earnest Dec. 2, 2014 when the eighth annual Holly Day Celebration on the Neuse lights up Kinston’s downtown.

As announced earlier, the annual event takes on a new day-long flavor this year beginning with a Holly Day Taste of Kinston at one of downtown’s newest businesses, Sweetiepies Cupcakery.


Sweetiepies Cupcakery to host 7:30 am Holly Day Taste of Kinston on December 2nd, 2014, to kick off the 8th annual Holly Day Celebration in downtown Kinston.


7:30 AM: Early shoppers are invited to stop by Sweetiepies at 211 N. Herritage for a cupcake and coffee to get in the mood for the season.

8:30 AM: Overland Gallery at 125 W. Blount featuring works by a galaxy of outstanding artists opens for arts aficionados looking for a special gift for a loved one or home. The gallery is offering a 20% storewide discount for the early shopper.

10:00 AM: Herritage Landing and Queen Street merchants open their doors for Holly Day shoppers.

11:30 AM: For the first time, historic Harmony Hall at 109 E. King Street joins the fun with a Holly Day luncheon featuring shrimp and grits, ham biscuits, dessert, tea or water. (Reservations/tickets required. See flyer.)

3:00 PM: Santa makes an early visit to Kinston when he stops by Sweetiepies Cupcakery (211 N. Herritage) to check on Christmas hopes by area youngsters. Photo ops by photographer Brandon Potter will be offered, and live music to enliven the event will be performed by the RJ & Dylan band throughout the 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm party.

6:00 PM: Lighting the community Christmas tree on the Lenoir County courthouse lawn concludes the Holly Day on the Neuse celebration.

Local television personality Rick Vernon will emcee the party which has become a staple of downtown holiday events. Members of the Kinston High School band, the Boys and Girls Club Chorus and the Parrott Academy chorus will help light the tree. A special surprise performance is also anticipated.

When the courthouse tree lights up, it will trigger all the lights along the Queen Street holly trees.

Adding to the Holly Day flavor, local art students will be painting seasonal scenes on storefronts along Queen Street.

As the lights blaze to life on Dec. 2, 2014 , the Holly Day shopping season in Kinston’s downtown gets underway with business hopes for a prosperous season and sets the stage for the annual Christmas parade which steps off at 10:00 am Dec. 13, 2014.

Enticing new investors

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

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:
127 N. Queen Street
215 N. Queen Street
311 N. Queen Street
106 W. Gordon 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."

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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.

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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...

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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 May through August! We have a great lineup for 2014.

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From the Executive Director...

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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.