Another New Business Set to Open Downtown Kinston
After searching for almost a year, Ben Harper has decided to move his family and re-designed business from Carrboro/Durham to Kinston.
Mr. Harper has purchased 115 W. North Street, formerly the Folded Napkin restaurant, and will re-open the store as Graphic Solution Consulting & On-site Screen Printing.
He reports that the front retail section of the building will offer his RedCollar brand sportswear, fine North Carolina wildlife artists’ paintings, artisan crafted benches, natural sugar soft drinks in a bottle, and a small scale assortment of quality vinyl records.
Wife Katherine will pursue her own business offering “A Cookie A Day” cookies at the location.
The Harpers’ two youngsters, Charles and Killen, have enrolled in local schools to resume their studies later this month.
Mr. Harper has licensed agreements with a number of North Carolina colleges and universities to provide items such as t shirts with the schools’ logos. In late 2013, he acquired a small building on Hwy. 70 East as a marketing outlet for his schools’ merchandise.
2014 Freedom Classic Attracts Thousands
The 4th annual Freedom Classic baseball series (Feb. 21-23, 2014) between the US Naval Academy and the US Air Force Academy attracted more than 5,000 fans, according to Kinston-Lenoir Parks & Recreation Director Bill Ellis.
In what has become a signature event at historic Grainger Stadium for civilian and military fans throughout the East, the 3-day series was blessed with excellent weather. The 2013 series was dogged by heavy downpours which played havoc with the schedule. While a rain storm slashed though Kinston on Friday afternoon (Feb. 21), it was gone by the 6:00 pm first pitch. Saturday and Sunday sun and light breezes were perfect for baseball.
Air Force players flew from Colorado Springs, CO and the Navy players bused from Annapolis, MD to continue the inter service rivalry in Kinston. Navy won the first/Friday game 3-0. The Air Force won the Saturday game 2-1; and the Sunday game 9-1.
Pride of Kinston supported the games by lining up volunteers to convey a giant 40/60 foot American flag onto the field to accompany the National Anthem prior to each game. It’s estimated that more than 300 volunteers helped to unfurl the flag over the three days.
The Pride board of directors approved several major items at its bi-monthly meeting Feb. 27, 2014. With a plan to hold some of its meetings around downtown, the board led by Chair Shirley Herring met at Mother Earth’s tap room on North Street.
Actions taken by the board include approval of recommendations by Pride’s Economic and Property Development Committee headed by Board Member Stuart Lindley:
Race Set for March 29, 2014
Planning for the NEW
Planning for the 9th annual Run for the River with its new features has picked up steam.
Volunteers headed by the little bank’s Jeremy Jones began planning for the Mar. 29, 2014 race last fall.
A 5K segment has been added to the traditional 8K race—plus the One Mile Fun Run—with the aim of making the athletic event even more user friendly. The Run for the River was launched by Pride of Kinston in 2006 as a strategy to lure more visitors—locally and statewide—to Kinston’s downtown. The race has grown in popularity over the years, attaining a goal of attracting athletes from all over North Carolina to Kinston’s downtown.
Kinston’s the little bank has joined with Pride to help sponsor the 2014 event.
In recent years, runners from Charlotte, Boone, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Wilmington have carried home the winning trophies as the fastest male and female runners on the 4.97 mile course. The 2013 Run for the River saw 54% of registered runners coming from outside Kinston.
In addition to new courses for the 8K and the 5K races, to be run simultaneously, the traditional Friday night briefing for volunteers, and to welcome runners and sponsors, will be conducted at the Community Council for the Arts, 400 N. Queen Street. “We’re making this year’s race an all-inside-Kinston event,” commented Jeremy Jones.
The fastest 8K runners will take home cash awards as follows: 1st place: $500; 2nd place: $300; and 3rd place: $150.
The fastest 5K runners will take home cash awards as follows: 1st place: $200; 2nd place: $100; 3rd place: $50.
Runners can register on Pride’s website and submit registration fees via Pay Pal.
Enticing new investors
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.
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. (www.nccommerce.com). For more information about Pride of Kinston, see About Pride.
Pride of Kinston • 327 North Queen Street • Kinston, NC 28501• (252)
Artist Bruce D. Ziegler has generously made available to Pride his portrait of