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Winston-Salem Holiday Countdown

Welcome to the Winston-Salem Holiday Countdown for 2021, celebrating the gift of local! Check in daily from December 1st through the 25th to see what community staples we are highlighting, including landmarks, sports teams, noteworthy people, anniversaries, businesses, and other local icons. Each day’s theme correlates with the day of the month. You can also follow along on Instagram by following @linvilleteam. One last thing, if you happen to be downtown, stroll past our location on Fourth Street to see the life size advent calendar in our front window! Happy Holidays!

  1. Single Brothers’ House

    Not to be confused with the local watering hole that was named after this historical site, the Single Brothers’ House is a Local Historic Landmark that was built in 1769 to house the unmarried men of the Moravian Congregation of Salem, now Winston-Salem. Salem boys left their parents at the age of 14 to live in the Single Brothers’ House where they trained and practiced their craft. Once married, the men were expected to leave the house and go into business alone. The Single Brothers’ House was the first institutional building in Salem, and it is currently the largest half-timbered building in North Carolina. Today the building is an exhibit of Old Salem Museums and Gardens.

Interesting Fact: The original Single Brothers’ House had front steps and cellar windows that were covered after the Main Street elevation was raised for streetcars in 1890.

Location: 600 South Main Street, Winston-Salem

Construction Date: 1769, 1786

Restoration Date: 1964

Historical Landmark Designation Date: 12/06/1982

National Register of Historic Places:

References: Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission

  1. Two Smokestacks

    An emblem of what built Winston-Salem, the Bailey Power Plant’s smokestacks have reemerged as one of the city’s iconic landmarks. The Bailey Power Plant was a decommissioned coal-fired power plant for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco that sat vacant for 20 years. The building was revived in 2018 into it’s current mixed-use workplace and entertainment hub in Innovation Quarter. Keeping history intact, 97 percent of the power plant’s original structure was incorporated in the transformed design, including the two smokestacks which have become core elements of the city’s brand. The smokestacks’ lettering and brick were rehabilitated, and lights were added making them a noticeable element of the downtown Winston-Salem skyline.

Interesting Fact: There was a community push in 2013 to repurpose the smokestacks into the world’s largest kaleidoscopes. The “RJR Smokestack Kaleidoscope Project” still exists as a Facebook community with 847 members.

Location: Bailey Power Plant, 486 North Patterson Avenue, Winston-Salem

Construction Date: 1947

Restoration Date: 2018

References: Innovation Quarter, Workspace Design Magazine, LLC DBA Work Design Magazine

  1. Three Floors or ROAR

    The Roaring Twenties are back! ROAR is coming soon and will bring a unique experience to Winston-Salem’s downtown with three floors of entertainment, including bowling, 103 virtual golf courses, fine dining, 107 beer taps, 43 televisions, and a food hall. ROAR’s building originated in 1926 as a Ford dealership called Twin City Motor Company, and it was recently recognized by the Forsyth County Historical Resources Commission as having historical significance as “the only extant downtown building erected to serve as an automobile dealership and service garage”. In keeping with history and the 1920’s theme, the food hall will be named Fords Food Hall. Looking forward to have a ROARing good time!

Interesting Fact: ROAR’s building is one of only two downtown Winston-Salem commercial buildings to possess a facade fully covered with glazed terra-cotta tile. The building was designed by architectural firm Northup and O’Brien who designed other notorious buildings, including the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University.

Location: 633 North Liberty Street, Winston-Salem

Construction Date: 1926

Restoration Date: 2021

Historical Landmark Designation Date: June 7, 2021

National Register of Historic Places: 2002

References: City of Winston-Salem, ROAR

  1. Fourth Street

    Fourth Street is one of downtown Winston-Salem’s most active streets with more than 20 restaurant and bars. The city’s holiday parades have taken place on Fourth Street since the 1940s. The tradition continues this year with the Winston-Salem Jaycees Holiday Parade taking place TODAY at 5pm. The parade route starts at the intersection of Fourth Street and Poplar Street and continues down Fourth Street to the intersection with Liberty Street. The parade will then turn right onto Liberty Street and continue all the way down to Corpening Plaza. The Holiday Parade is partnering with the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership to bring you the Annual Tree Lighting ceremony directly following the parade at Corpening Plaza. This year the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership is hosting a Window Wonderland Window Dressing Competition for the downtown businesses, so be sure to check out the festive storefront windows while you’re downtown for the parade! Voting for the best window display is online from Dec. 7th-15th.

Interesting Fact: Fourth Street was originally a one-way street.

Location: West Fourth Street, Downtown Winston-Salem

The West End Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

References: Winston-Salem Jaycees, State Library of North Carolina, Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership

  1. Ben Folds FIVE

    We were a little disappointed to learn that some of LTP’s youngins are not familiar with Ben Folds Five. Not to worry, they have been educated! If you are familiar with Ben Folds Five, then you probably already know that Ben Folds is a Winston-Salem native. Despite only having three band members, the band went with the name Ben Folds Five because “it sounds better than Ben Folds Three”. Ben Folds was the frontman and pianist for the band from 1993-2000 and again in the early 2010s during their reunion. Folds attended R.J. Reynolds high school and his three man band was known for play at Ziggy’s (now the Ramkat) throughout the 1990s.

Interesting Fact: Ben Folds met his first wife, Anna Goodman, in first grade at Moore Elementary School in Winston-Salem. Folds has said that she is his “oldest friend” and the person who inspired him to play music.

Band Career: 1995-2000

Ben Folds Solo Career: 2001-now

Inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame: 2011

References: Wikipedia

  1. Six Flavors of Sunshine Energy Drinks/Waters

    Sunshine Beverages, LLC is a company that truly embodies the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Winston-Salem. After identifying an untapped market within the functional beverage category, Sunshine Beverages brought a single 8 oz. product to the local market in 2013 called Buck O’Hairen’s Legendary Sunshine Beverage. They have since repackaged and rebranded their original product, added two additional energy drink flavors, launched a new line of energy waters, and have expanded into more than 3,500 stores across the nation. Unlike other energy drinks that contain large amounts of caffeine and tend to cause the jitters, Sunshine offers drinks with vitamins, electrolytes, and the amount of caffeine found a cup of coffee.

Interesting Fact: The brand is named after a fictional North Carolinian moonshiner named Buck O’Hairen. As the legend goes, Sunshine was the morning antidote to Buck O’Hairen’s 180-proof moonshine. Sunshine Beverages and branding agency (The Variable) created a bunch of websites to share the tale of Buck. We found a couple of them here and here.

Year Founded: 2013

Original Founders: Keith Vest and Joe Parrish

References: Sunshine Beverages LLC, Winston-Salem Journal

  1. Seven Shell-Shaped Gas Stations

    There used to be seven of these shell-shaped gas stations in Winston-Salem (eight including one in Kernersville), but this one in Waughtown-Belview Historic District is the only on that exists today. This mimetic architectural structure originated with Quality Oil Company in the 1930s. Quality Oil Company was founded in 1929 by James Glenn and Bert Bennett to distribute Shell Oil Company products. Since Shell hadn’t marketed much in North Carolina before 1929, Glenn and Bennett designed the shell-shaped gas stations to advertise the brand. This structure’s unusual and rare survival of early twentieth century literal advertising is what gives the landmark historical significance.

Interesting Fact: The son of one of the original owners stated that the structure was built by first framing the interior with a wood box and wrapping the box with wire to build the 3-D shape. The structure was finished with stucco-like concrete layered over the wiring. A hose was used to add ridges to the concrete finish.

Location: Waughtown-Belview Historic District, 111 East Sprague Street, Winston-Salem

Construction Date: c. 1930

Restoration Date: c. 1990s

Landmark Designation Date: 05/02/1994

National Register of Historic Places: 05/13/1976

References: Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission, National Register of Historic Places Inventory – Nomination Form

  1. Eight Years of STITCH Design Shop

    STITCH Design Shop is an award-winning architectural and interior design firm in Winston-Salem. STITCH has breathed new life into many parts of Winston-Salem through their creative and unique approach to design. One of their most notable projects is The AFAS Group’s ARTivity on the Green. STITCH transformed this once-forgotten area of downtown into an urban park that seamlessly bridges the geographical areas of Arts and Innovation. What once was an eyesore is now a beautiful focal point for the downtown area. STITCH Design Shop is responsible for many other projects in the area, including Bailey Park, Quarry Park, and Bailey South. Linville Team Partners can speak to the quality and creativity of their work as they renovated the interior of our Renaissance Revival-style building to fit the needs and culture of our company. Thank you, STITCH Design Shop!

Interesting Fact: The ribbons of the “Ribbon Shelter” at ARTivity can be used as whisper dishes. Standing at opposite ends of one of the bands (facing the ribbon), people can converse at a whisper.

Year Founded: 2013

Read more about STITCH Design Shop and ARTivity on the Green.

References: STITCH Design Shop, The AFAS Group

9. Nine Years of Linville Team Partners

From day one, LTP’s agenda has been to transform and enrich our community through commercial real estate. As members of the community, we succeed when our community succeeds. To our Piedmont Triad community, customers, and supporters: Thank you for trusting us and making our dreams possible! Thank you to Aubrey Linville for starting LTP and making this possible for our almost 20 team members.

Interesting Fact: Aubrey Linville has started and operated nine companies.

Year Founded: 2012

Location: 206 West Fourth Street, Winston-Salem

  1. Ten Foot Tall Snowman on Hardee’s Holiday Rooftop Display

    Unassuming, yet iconic. The Hardee’s holiday rooftop display is a Winston-Salem staple. But why is this display featuring a tree, a waving snowman, Santa and his reindeer beloved by so many? The answer is in the story and the sentiment. The display has been a local tradition for more than 30 years and is put up evey December to lift the spirits of the kids at Brenner Children’s Hospital during the holiday season.

Interesting Fact: In 2015, locals sprung into action at the absence of the rooftop display in December. An online petition to have the Hardee’s decorations put up received over 3,000 signatures. Local journalists made phone calls around the nation to get in touch with someone who could provide answers. It was discovered that ownership had been taken over by a Floridian who owned more than 50 Hardee’s. The new owner stated that he had heard about the display, but it wasn’t until the phone calls and emails came in that he knew he had to prioritize the rooftop decorations at his Winston-Salem location.

Location: 1590 West First Street, Winston-Salem

References: Winston-Salem Journal

  1. Eleven Ingredients in Moravian Sugar Cake

    A traditional Winston-Salem holiday treat, Moravian Sugar Cake was brought by Salem’s original settlers from their settlements in eastern Pennsylvania. It is very similar to the German Zuckerkuchen (sugar cake) with the inclusion of mashed potatoes in the dough, which was used in dough starters to boost the growth of natural yeasts. Both Dewey’s and Wilkerson bake their Moravian Sugar Cakes fresh daily. 
  1. A Dozen Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

    In 1937, Vernon Rudolph brought his “secret yeast-raised dougnut recipe” that he bought from a French chef in New Orleans to Winston-Salem. With very few doughnut shops in the South before the 1930s, doughnuts were thought of as a treat for “Yankees”. What competitor could that be referring to? Anyway, today, Krispy Kreme attracts doughnut lovers internationally with their “Hot Now” signs.

Interesting Fact: It has been rumored that Vernon Rudolph chose to bring Krispy Kreme to Winston-Salem because he figured that a city that supported the large tobacco industry would also be able to support another industry. He was attracted to Winston-Salem’s acceptance of industrialization and technology since his doughnut production relied on mechanics.

References: UNC University Libraries, Krispy Kreme

  1. Thirteen Original Businesses in Thruway Shopping Center

    Thruway opened in 1955 as the first shopping center in Winston-Salem. It was developed by three entrepreneurs – Ray Messick, who ran Food Fair grocery stores (today’s Food Lion), Earl Slick and W.B. Leverton – on an old dairy farm on Stratford Road. The farm was located alongside of the future site of the local interstate, or thruway. Thruway Shopping Center opened with thirteen businesses, a parking lot for 1,200 cars, and the slogan “One Stop Does It All”. The shopping center was described as “a brand new idea in modern shopping”.

Interesting Fact: The only original business to remain in Thruway Shopping Center is Dewey’s Bakery.

Developer: Merchant’s Development Company

Year Established: 1955

13 Original Businesses: Messick’s Food Fair Supermarket, Woolworth’s, Eckerd Drug, Laun-Dry-Clean, Artistic Flowers, Hugh Butler, Inc., McPhail’s Gift Shop, Tiny Town, Marken’s Children’s Wear, William Lamberti’s Beauty Salon, The Buena Vista Shop for Women’s Clothing, Stanley Shoes, and Dewey’s Bake Shop.

References: Thruway Center, Winston-Salem Journal,

  1. Winston-Salem Dubbed ‘City of Arts and Innovation’ in 2014

    Before receiving it’s official slogan, the highway signs entering the city simply said, ‘Welcome to Winston-Salem’. The city deserved the slogan ‘City of Arts and Innovation’, which earned a unanimous vote by city council in 2014. The slogan was chosen and campaigned for by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and has been well accepted by the community.

Interesting Fact: Many community members thought ‘City of Arts and Innovation’ was already Winston-Salem’s slogan prior to 2014.

References: Winston-Salem Journal

  1. 15 & Under

    Wake Downtown hosts Wake Forest University’s Engineering, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery programs. One of the many perks of their downtown location is the access that their students have to downtown amenities. Their 15 & Under campaign highlights all that there is to do within a 15 minute walk from their Wake Downtown location. The businesses highlighted through their campaign include: a/perture Cinema, Camino Bakery, Small Batch Beer, Black Mountain Chocolate, Winston-Salem Mixxer, Camel City Goods, Yamas, Bookmarks, Local 27101, Cam’s Coffee, Alma Mexicana, Moji Coffee, and Cugino Forno.

Interesting Fact: The railway located behind Wake Downtown connects to Roanoke, VA. They were built in the late 1800s and were used to transport tobacco products to Virginia. Today, 1.7 miles of the old rail line have been turned into a pathway for bikes and pedestrians.

Location: 455 Vine St, Winston-Salem

Historical Significance: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Factory 64 Complex is a contributing resource in the Winston-Salem Tobacco Historic District

Construction Date: 1916-1960s

Landmark Designation Date: May 21, 2012

National Register of Historic Places: August 5, 2009

References: Wake Downtown, Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission, City of Winston-Salem

  1. Forsyth County Founded on the 16th of January 1849

    Ok, we’ll admit that we stretched for this one. With that said, there is still something to be said about this day in history. Forsyth County was named after Benjamin Forsyth, an Officer in the War of 1812. He was killed in an ambush attack in Odelltown, Quebec in 1814. Many today know very little about Benjamin Forsyth as his only son died at the age of 21 with no children and there are no documented pictures of him. What we do know about Benjamin Forsyth today are the bits and pieces that local historians have been able to piece together. In his day, he was known as a colorful man known for horse racing, real estate, and rifles. Twenty years after his death, when state legislators created a new county from Stokes, Benjamin Forsyth’s name was honored. There is a historic marker in his honor that is located near his home in Germanton. 

Interesting Fact: A real estate mogul, Benjamin Forsyth made 74 land transactions between 1794 and 1811 in Stokes County. 

References: Wikipedia,, Forsyth County Public Library

  1. Carolina Thunderbirds Bring Professional Hockey to Winston-Salem in 2017

    Local hockey fans were delighted when the Carolina Thunderbirds brought hockey back to Winston-Salem in 2017. The Thunderbirds are the second professional hockey team to be based in Winston-Salem, after the Winston-Salem Polar Twins (1973-1977). 

Interesting Fact: In 2021, the Winston-Salem Youth Hockey Association rebranded to the Junior Thunderbirds in an effort to align the two organizations and grow the game of hockey in the Piedmont Triad.

References: Carolina Thunderbirds, Wikipedia

  1. Eighteen Months of Developing the Statue of Arnold Palmer

    A former Wake Forest student athlete and one of the greatest professional golfers in history, Arnold Palmer deserves to forever stand in front of the Arnold Palmer Golf Complex on the campus of Wake Forest University. The statue of Arnold Palmer was created by Bruce Wolfe. It took 18 months to create, weighs 1,392 pounds, and was unveiled in 2013. Arnold Palmer was present the day his statue was unveiled on Wake Forest’s campus, and it was one of his last moments at his alma mater before his passing in 2016.

Interesting Fact: This statue at Wake Forest University is the original prototype for many other Arnold Palmer statues that have been placed at golf clubs around the nation.

References: ESPN,

  1. Nineteen Years Since Ownership of the Grecian Corner Was Passed Down

    The Grecian Corner became one of Winston-Salem’s famous landmarks after it was featured in the 1990 film, Mr. Destiny. The film starred James Belushi and was largely inspired by the 1946 film, It’s a Wonderful Life. The Grecian Corner has been serving delicious Greek cuisine from its convenient location next to Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center since 1970. George Ballas, the original owner of the restaurant, passed the Grecian Corner to his nephew and his nephew’s wife, Angelo and Georgia Ballas, in 2002.

Year Restaurant Established: 1970

Location: 101 Eden Terrace, Winston-Salem

References: Wikipedia

  1. Twenty Art-O-Mats in Downtown Winston-Salem

    Art-O-Mats are cigarette vending machines that have been repurposed into original art vending machines, true emblems of Winston-Salem’s past and present. There are around 20 Art-O-Mats in Downtown Winston-Salem. This number is approximate as new machines are always popping up. The idea originated in 1997 with an artist named Clark Whittington. Whittington set out a retired cigarette vending at a solo art show at Penny Universitie Cafe (now De Lisio’s Italian Restaurant). He equipped the machine with black and white photos for $1.00 each. The owner of Penny Universitie, Cynthia Giles, liked the concept so much that she asked to keep the repurposed cigarette vending machine at her cafe. Whittington thought it would be most appropriate if several local artists placed work in the vending machine, thus Artists in Cellophane (AIC) was formed. AIC is the current sponsor of Art-O-Mat with the mission ‘to encourage art consumption by combining the worlds of art and commerce in an innovative form’.

Interesting Fact: According to their website, the company has around 400 contributing artists from ten different countries and their Art-O-Mats are located all across the world!

Find Art-O-Mat Locations

References: Art-O-Mat

  1. Twenty-One Floors in the Reynolds Building

    The Reynolds Building is an Art Deco skyscraper constructed in 1929. It’s popularly known for being the prototype for New York City’s Empire State Building. The Reynolds Building used to be the headquarters for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, who sold the building in 2014. The Kimpton opened on April 27, 2016, the bulding’s 87th birthday. The Katharine opened their restaurant the week after.

Interesting Fact: There is a legend that the Empire State Building sends a Father’s Day card to the Reynolds Building every year, but this rumor has been debunked (sadly).

Interesting Fact: The 13th floor is missing due to superstitions dating to the building’s construction.

Location: 401 North Main Street, Winston-Salem

Construction Date: 1929

Restoration Date: 2014-2016

Landmark Designation Date: May 18, 2015

National Register of Historic Places: August 19, 2014

References: Wikipedia, City of Winston-Salem

  1. Aperture Cinema – The Twenty-Second Theater Location in Downtown Winston-Salem History

    Have you ever looked at old photos of downtown and wondered why it looks so different today? This is in large due to the popularity of theaters in the early 1900s and the flammability of nitrate film used during that time. Many theater burned to the ground. Today, we are very grateful for what Aperture Cinema has been bringing to our community for over a decade. They offer a unique experience as many of their films are not screened anywhere else in the community.

Interesting Fact: In 2019, Aperture Cinema composted over 5,000 pounds of waste.

Location: 311 West Fourth Street, Winston-Salem

References: Aperture Cinema, Forsyth County Public Library

  1. Twenty-Three Pitchers on the Winston-Salem Dash Roster

    Winston-Salem’s beloved minor league baseball team has been a farm team of the Chicago White Sox since 1997. Local fans have been enjoying Winston-Salem Dash baseball and Foothills Brewing products from Truist Stadium since 2010.

Interesting Fact: It is rumored that the team name was inspired by the (-) symbol in Winston-Salem. ‘The Hyphen’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Stadium Location: 951 Ballpark Way, Winston-Salem

References: Minor League Baseball, Wikipedia

  1. Ronald McDonald House Charities Piedmont Triad is Available to Families Twenty-Four Hours a Day

    …Seven Days a Week. Linville Team Partners selects a Philanthropy Partner to focus charitable efforts on each year, and Ronald McDonald House Charities Piedmont Triad has been our 2021 Philanthropy Partner. This organization offers invaluable support and a home away from home for families traveling for their child’s medical care at Brenner’s Children’s Hospital.

Interesting Fact: The Ronald McDonald House sponsors the Petite Boutique to help families clothe their premature babies in the NICU. The Petite Boutique even offers seasonal attire that allows parents to select costumes in October and festive holiday outfits in December.

Location: 419 South Hawthorne Road, Winston-Salem

  1. Innovation Quarter

    The final day of the countdown goes to the downtown district that puts the ‘Innovation’ in the City of Arts & Innovation. The Innovation Quarter’s unique mixed-use environment has received favorable feedback with other cities, like Charlotte, NC, looking to replicate the concept.

Interesting Fact: There are more than 1,000 apartments and lofts in the Innovation Quarter. There are also more than 115 restaurants within a one-mile radius.

Location: 575 North Patterson Avenue, Winston-Salem

References: Winston-Salem Journal, Innovation Quarter