Kinston brings community together with “First Fridays”

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – After a violent week in the city of Kinston, where two young men were gunned down by a teenager, the city of Kinston united under free community events and the arts.

“Well with this space especially, it’s so colorful,” said Pamela Wynn, an artist who opens her home to the public during Kinston’s First Fridays. “I think they feel enchanted when they come in. You can come out walk around town, enjoy the weather, enjoy the beautiful evening, enjoy art, and it doesn’t even have to cost you anything.”

Wynn said it has been the town’s progressive action that is allows for more opportunity for the entire community, “I think it’s really important, as we’re growing and reinitializing the downtown, to have events where the community can come and actually see what’s happening and enjoy some of the benefits revitalization is providing.”

A prominent figure in the town’s revamp is business owner Stephen Hill. He said people need to give Kinston’s new downtown a chance, “There are even some people in Kinston that come downtown and go ‘Wow, I haven’t been downtown in 10 or 15 years.’ Well if you haven’t been downtown in 10 or 15 years you will see a remarkable change.”

Both Hill and Wynn said they feel safe in downtown.

“I mean. there are people out on the street. as you see now. and they’re out here until 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning,” Hill said. “15 years ago that did not happen.”

This week’s shooting in Kinston happened a mile from downtown.

Hill said the increase in opportunities for businesses, means more opportunities for people, “Kinston’s just shifting from the magic mile, and might be the magic entertainment mile.”

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