Greenville, North Carolina is an up-and-coming city and the entertainment and educational hot spot of the Inner Banks area. In 2008, Forbes magazine named Greenville one of the top 10 places for business and careers. As of 2007, the city had a population of 76,000, making it the tenth largest city in North Carolina.
Greenville seeks to protect its heritage, revitalize neighborhoods, enhance the quality of life, and stimulate economic development. Greenville has 23 local landmarks listed on the National Register of Historic Places, five districts, and one local historic district. Greenville's historic preservation program helps to identify, evaluate, rehabilitate, and adapt the reuse of historic resources.
The College View Historic District is one of Greenville's most intact early twentieth century residential areas. Other examples of local landmarks include the William H. Long House (200 East Fourth Street) and the Greenville Municipal Building (201 West Fifth Street).
Greenville has five National Register Historic Districts:
The upward swing of Greenville's economy began in 1968 when Burroughs Wellcome chose Greenville as its home. This pharmaceutical research and manufacturing firm is now owned by DSM Pharmaceuticals and employs close to 1,500 workers.
The city is also home to a number of other businesses, including:
Pitt County Memorial Hospital is one of the largest in the state with more than 6,000 employees.
Shiloh Farm is located in an 1827 plantation house and offers a number of educational and entertaining activities. There is a playground and an animal viewing area and all members of the family can enjoy tours and hayrides.
The East Carolina village of Yesteryear shows life in eastern North Carolina during the years 1840 to 1940. The village has 19 historical buildings and more than 2,000 artifacts and includes a traditional schoolhouse and country store.
The May Museum and Park covers the cultural and commercial history of the area from Colonial times until the present. The museum is widely noted for its collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century quilts.
Walter L. Stasavich Science and Nature Center has a 70-seat theater and multiple exhibits including waterfowl of the Atlantic Flyway, a turtle touch tank, a North American Diorama, a 10,000-gallon freshwater aquarium, and live snakes.
The Greenville Museum of Art contains local art alongside traveling exhibitions and is one of the most respected museums in North Carolina. More than 12,000 visitors come to this museum every year.
Theater is fast becoming a major piece of the cultural draw of Greenville and local groups such as the Magnolia Arts Center have sprung up. Smiles and Frowns features children's theater.
East Carolina University itself offers the community a selection of concerts, performances, and lectures.
The Halloween Street Party is one of the most popular annual events in Greenville. People from both the city and around the Inner Banks come all dressed up to enjoy live music and experience the downtown Greenville nightlife.
The Winterville Watermelon Festival is an annual event that includes a parade, fireworks, watermelon contests, a pageant, live entertainment, crafts and amusement park rides, among other features.
Greenville is quickly becoming a shopping hub for those in or near the Inner Banks area:
The city of Greenville has three well-known colleges in the area: East Carolina University, Shaw University, a satellite campus, and Pitt Community College. East Carolina University is a public university and the largest higher learning institution in eastern North Carolina and the second largest in all of North Carolina. Like the city of Greenville, East Carolina University is rapidly growing, as fast as any campus in the University of North Carolina school system.
Greenville is famous for East Carolina University's sports teams. Nicknamed the Pirates, this school's teams compete in NCAA Division I-A as a full member of the 12-team Conference USA. Thus, the school's sports facilities are a major attraction to the area. Some of the facilities include:
Additionally, the city is widely known as a hub for professional BMX (bicycle motocross) riders and has been called "BMX Pro Town USA."