August 25, 2015


The Pride of Kinston, forced to cancel two back-to-back concerts earlier this summer because of weather, is asking fans of the popular downtown series to help reduce the debt left over when the two bands, The Entertainers and Jim Quick and the Coastline Band, were unable to perform. Those attending the August 27 concert featuring the Band of Oz will be given an opportunity to contribute to a "Rainy Day Fund" during the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show in Pearson Park.

Pride director Adrian King explained recently to the organization's Marketing and Promotions Committee that the performing artists industry requires payment for services even though neither band was able to play in the outdoor venue because of rain. The two contracts amounted to $3,600.00 but there were no sale of beverages or food items to help offset the bands' charges. Concert sponsorships and product sales form the basis of Sand in the Streets budgets.

He noted that the first four concerts of the 2015 season "resulted in a near breakeven position, but the washout for the next two knocked a real hole in the overall budget."

In addition to the band contracts, the Pride has to purchase insurance, part-time officers for security, portable toilets, licenses, part-time help to set up, advertising, printing, wholesale prices for certain products offered for sale, and to pay food vendors 75% of their sales income earned during the show.

"A concert has many moving parts with our audiences expecting and deserving quality experiences. And although it may sound simple to do, it is virtually impossible to quickly move the show to a new and rain-free environment on performance day. And re-scheduling popular bands to new dates with very little advance notice is another nearly-impossible task. We generally make our booking arrangements months in advance, and the bands do their bookings months in advance," according to King.

"We respect the artists who play for us, we truly, truly appreciate our sponsors, and we love our audiences who have made Sand in the Streets the fun event that it is," King said. "We just not able to control Mother Nature. So, if our fans can help us out a little, we'd appreciate it."

Pride has developed a tradition with The Band of Oz as the concluding concert to end a summer season. The group, which has been touring for 48 years, has a large and enthusiastic following and is known to fill Pearson Park to near capacity in a Sand in the Streets show.


An analysis of shoppers who participated in Pride-sponsored Shoppers Contest August 10 - August 22 showed a heavy influx of out-of-town customers.

The 16 downtown Kinston retailers who returned 250 entry forms from shoppers hoping to win a $100.00 gift card verified that 41% of all entries were submitted by customers who came from outside Kinston.

Out of town shoppers told Kinston merchants that they live in places such as Albertson, Bailey, Beulaville, Chinquapin, Chocowinity, Clinton, Flat Rock, Fuquay Varina, Goldsboro, Graham, Greenville, Grifton, Hamilton, Henderson, Jacksonville, Kenansville, Newport, Pink Hill, Rocky Mount, Rose Hill, Sanford, Snow Hill, Wilmington, Wilson and other places including towns in Tennessee, Michigan and Virginia.

Pride’s analysis also showed that 59% of the shoppers who entered the contest are Kinston residents, “the stalwart consumers who drive our local retail economy,” according to one shopper.

Some observers suggested that the diversity of 2015 shoppers begins to resemble a picture of downtown Kinston buying and selling similar to the shoppers paradise of the 1950’s and 1960’s when Kinston was the epicenter of retail for all eastern North Carolina.

A lucky downtown shopper will be named Thursday when his or her shoppers certificate will be drawn during Pride of Kinston’s board of directors’ meeting Thursday August 27, 2015.

Winner of the first 2015 Shoppers Contest (March 16 - March 25) came from Charlotte; winner of the second version (April 6 - April 18) was a Kinston resident.


Radio station WELS (102.9 Kinston Classic Hits Station owned by Curtis Media) received a facelife Friday (August 21, 2015) when staff and workers showed up to give the studio at 313 N. Queen Street a paint job on the front facade and a cleared backdoor entrance off Spruce Alley.

Posing for the clean up photo were (top left ladder) Jesse James Lawson; (top right ladder) Paul Byrd; Standing left to right Cameron Tucker; Chris Martin, Kinston sales manager; and Hilton Parker. After a short period of silence, the station was purchased by Curtis Media in 2014 and is striving to expand a solid Kinston audience.

Kinston Main Street report
shows strong growth in downtown

Kinston Main Street report shows strong growth in downtown In its annual statement to North Carolina’s Main Street offices in Raleigh, the Pride of Kinston described a picture of strong development in the city’s main business district.

The statement, submitted today, reports that 18 new enterprises opened their doors in downtown Kinston during the period July 1, 2014 thru June 30, 2015. The new businesses reported that they added 77 full time jobs and 41 part time jobs to the inner city economy during the year. (Note: The Beauty Box complex contains 4 business units.)

The list includes five new start ups which opened for business in the Kinston Enterprise Center during the year.

The report lists nine major building rehabilitation projects undertaken in the 12 months period which includes six businesses which installed new facades, most with Pride support.

The report also describes private and public investments in the downtown totaling nearly $10 million during the same period.

“Last year was a good year for downtown Kinston,” commented Adrian King, director of Pride. “All the credit goes to our entrepreneurs and business people who take the risk to open new enterprises. We thank every one of them.”

Click here to view the report... 

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:
109 S. 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."

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  

Shopping in Downtown Kinston
Downtown Shopping

Invest in Downtown Kinston
Invest Downtown

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 2015.

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

Become a Fan of Pride of Kinston on Facebook & Follow Us on Twitter

Find Pride of Kinston on Facebook


HomeHistoryIn the NewsThings to DoReal EstateAbout Pride

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.