Kinston's 'Loch Neuse Dragon' to be a surefire blast

Loch Neuse Dragon at Pearson Park in Kinston. (Photo courtesy of Bill Ellis)

KINSTON, Lenoir County - A downtown Kinston park is now the home of a brand-new towering sculpture of a dragon - thankfully one that doesn't breathe fire.

The "Loch Neuse Dragon" is going in next to the recently installed playground at Pearson Park as part of a partnership between Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina, KaBoom! and the Kinston Parks and Recreation Department. The dragon is a climbable piece of equipment - something akin to a treehouse with a rope ladder and slide.

"This is the only one in the country like it," said Kinston Parks and Recreation Director Bill Ellis. "We are really excited about it ... and we hope people from all over eastern North Carolina will come out and enjoy."

The dragon should be ready for public use in about two months, Ellis said.

Some of the children getting to play nearby expressed their excitement about being able to soon scale the dragon.

"I'll have the time of my life," 9-year-old Rachel Bondurande said of her anticipation for getting to try out the dragon.

The sculpture is about 17 feet long, 18 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Officials say the unique park upgrades are part of an overall plan to revitalize downtown.