The Down East Wood Ducks magical baseball season, in which the club became the all-time winningest Advanced-A affiliate in Rangers history, is now in the books and another summer season in Kinston and Lenoir County has come to an end. The family fun of Lion’s Water Park has slowed for the year as schools kick back into gear.
But everyone should know Kinston is no longer just a place to visit in the vacation season. It has become a year-round destination with great restaurants, shops and family activities to enjoy.
Lenoir County, itself nestled between the surrounding communities of Raleigh and the Crystal Coast, has grown into a place where many come to enjoy one of a kind cuisine. Fall is a great time to take a stroll back in time and take in the first-rate CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center. The center showcases the state’s largest historic artifact and state of the art exhibits. The remains of the CSS Neuse were relocated to a fully enclosed facility at 100 N. Queen Street.
The Annual BBQ Fest on the Neuse, held in the spring, was again a huge success with thousands attending both for the fantastic food but also for the variety of vendors showing off their wares.
It was also when the 2019 BBQ Award winners were announced to the community. People walked from the restaurants and bars and meandered to the main stage area where the shows were held. The restaurants and bars were all busy with revelers. But don’t despair, these tasty delights are available all year long.
As we look forward to fall and winter, there are many events already in the books. The list includes Mother Earth Brewery’s 10th Anniversary Celebration, which this year will take place on Saturday, October 19. The Streets of downtown Kinston will be closed off for the all-day event. There will be live music featuring four different bands, a variety of food trucks, tours of the facilities, and plenty of beer. Do not miss the free event.
Following that, get into the Halloween spirit with the ever-popular Ghost Walk.
Then, as the temperatures begin to dip as winter approaches, is Kinston’s annual Christmas Holly Jolly Christmas Show. Join the Community Council for the Arts and Kinston Community Center for a fun-filled day of holiday shopping from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 16 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 17. Both days will be held at the Kinston Community Center, located at 2602 W. Vernon Avenue.
Rounding out the year, is the Christmas parade. Pride of Kinston Downtown Revitalization is bringing the Kinston Christmas Parade, which will be held Saturday, December 7. The parade route remains the same as in years past. Everyone is invited to become a part of the parade and follow Santa to Pearson Park where he will “Turn on the Holidays” by lighting the majestic Christmas Tree. The parade theme is Light the Night.
More people each year are realizing the fact that Kinston and Lenoir County have become a year-round destination that never close-up shop.
There are so many popular places, like the award-winning restaurant Chef and the Farmer, which remains extremely popular so call ahead for reservations at restaurants and if you are coming from the beach to shop at a specific store give them a call just to confirm they will have the welcome mat out when you get to town.
One of the fantastic things about coming to Kinston in what some call the off-season following Labor Day is traffic is lighter. There are also no parking meters in town and the downtown area’s new parking project will make shopping easier and quicker.
So if you haven’t been to Kinston yet, this is the year to visit. The restaurants and shopping are always there. Think about an afternoon stroll along the river in breezier weather with a hot chocolate in your hand before going for a great meal. There is nothing that can compare.