Festive start to the new year in Kinston
A festive crowd rang in the New Year Monday night at a masquerade to benefit Pride of Kinston.
A crowd of all ages donned masks to celebrate the New Year and help raise funds for downtown revitalization. The event, held at the CSS Neuse Interpretive Center on Queen Street, drew partygoers from all over Eastern North Carolina.
Pride of Kinston Executive Director Leon Steele said those who came were impressed by the venue and the event, expressing their desire to attend other events in the future.
Local business owner Tonya Adams said she enjoyed the party and was especially impressed by how many people embraced the theme of the event and came in masks.
“For some Kinstonians, this is the first time they have [visited the CSS Neuse Interpretive Center],” Adams said.
Kinston Mayor Don Hardy led the countdown to midnight for the guests. Hardy said he also enjoyed the party and was looking forward to the new year.
“I’m excited for 2019, and I’m thankful for those who made this happen," Hardy said. "Pride of Kinston is one of a kind and doing great things.”
Party-goers enjoyed music from popular local band TrainWreck, and the dance floor was full most of the night. They enjoyed catering from Queen Street Deli and Carolina Pasta Works, toasted the new year with champagne at midnight, and then stuck around for more music after the new year had begun.
Steele said the event was made possible by the amazing volunteers who work with Pride of Kinston.
“People don’t realize how much goes into planning a party like this," Steele said. "We have great volunteers and we have fun with what we do, and then everyone gets to enjoy it. In the end though, it’s not just about Pride of Kinston, but it’s about what we are all doing to bring back the magic to Kinston.”