Greenville, one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. State of North Carolina, is the county seat of Pitt County, and is the principal city of the Greenville, North Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is situated on the Tar River. American Demographics Magazine projects the city will be ranked among the top 10 places in America for growth rate of both population and employment over the next twenty years. Greenville is known as the cultural, economical, and educational hub of North Carolina's Inner Banks. The city boasts a vibrant business community and is consistently ranked among the top places nationally to live, work, study and play. In 2004, Greenville was named Sportstown USA for the state of North Carolina by Sports Illustrated and the National Parks & Recreation Association. The city is also known as "Pro Town USA", as it is home for many top professional BMX riders, such as Dave Mirra, Ryan Nyquist, Ryan Guettler, Mike Laird, and Josh Harrington.
The city has a total population of over 75,000 residents. The Greenville Metro Area includes approximately 207,000 residents. It is the home of East Carolina University and University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, which includes Pitt County Memorial Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in North Carolina.
Greenville serves as a regional entertainment hub for all of Eastern North Carolina. The area boasts a vast array of local and national-chain restaurants catering to a variety of tastes from down-home favorites to gourmet specialties. Several restaurants within the city have been recognized nationally for their barbecue and superior wine selection.
Culture permeates on and off the East Carolina University campus. East Carolina University offers musical concerts, theatrical and dance productions, travel films, and lectures. Antique stores are scattered throughout the county and offer a number of unique treasures. Also, local art galleries feature major art collections, traveling exhibits, and the work of local and regional artists.
Athletics predominate the area. Football dominates the ECU athletic scene. Greenville is also home to the Eastern Regional High School Football and Basketball Tournament, NC Senior Games, and hosted the Babe Ruth World Series Girl's Softball Tournament in the Summer of 2002.
Numerous restaurants and nightclubs offer live entertainment in the evenings on the weekends and Uptown Greenville has a district that includes numerous venue options. Freeboot Friday in the fall and Sunday in the Park offer great opportunities to enjoy friends and family and the seasons. The downtown area is known on the national level for its annual large Halloween street party and live music bars.
Theater is beginning to emerge in Greenville as well. Local groups such as the Greenville Theater Project and the Magnolia Arts Center offer creative outlets for both performers and audiences alike. Smiles and Frowns Playhousecelebrated its twentieth year of producing premier children's theatre in November 2006. Additionally, student groups such as SWASH Improv offer entertainment at the university and local establishments.