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.


"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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Newsletter Archives

August 25, 2015
Sand In The Streets Launch a "Rainy Day Fund" at the August 27 Concert

July 31
Pride Begins New Year With New Leaders

July 10, 2015
Queen Street Bridge Closing Pushed Back Again

July 6, 2015
Independence Day 2015 a Full Day in Kinston

June 26, 2015
Erasing the Lines Undertake Downtown Projects

June 2, 2015
Sand in the Streets
Launches 12th Season

May 21, 2015
Kinston Highlighted As Regional Destination

April 28, 2015
Downtown Trash Gets Trashed

April 21, 2015
Downtown Kinston Changes Continue

April 14, 2015
Downtown Clean Up Day Set for April 25, 2015

March 31, 2015
2015 Run for the River in the Record Books

March 12, 2015
Downtown Living Becoming a Reality

February 27, 2015
The Magic Mile / Herritage Landing Shopping Contest

January 30, 2015
Downtown Kinston Update (Part 1)
Downtown Kinston Update (continued)

Janaury 15, 2015
Giant American Flag Unfolded Before Freedom Classic Games

December 16, 2014
Holly Days and annual parage light downtown Kinston

November 18, 2014
The 8th Holly Day Celebreation Set to Kick Off on Dec. 2nd, 2014

August 29, 2014
Herritage Landing Businesses Welcome Customers

August 8, 2014
More Changes in the Air

July 31, 2014
Major new developments
Underway Downtown Kinston

July 21, 2014
Kinston streets a picture of past, present and future

June 27, 2014
Pride hosts 3rd Sand in the Streets And elects new 2014-2015 officers

June 13, 2014
The Embers and fans dodge rain squalls to launch Pride's 30th anniversary

May 29, 2014
Sand in the Streets to Acknowledge Prides 30th Anniversary

April 16, 2014
More Downtown Kinston News

April 1, 2014
Another Kinston Race in the Record Books

March 24, 2014
9th Annual Run for the River Poised to Take Off

March 6, 2014
Another Business Set to Open Downtown Kinston

January 1, 2014
2013 Downtown Kinston Report

Please visit our Newsletter Archive page for a listing of available older newsletters from 2006-2014.

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