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Freedom Classic brings crowds and helps local economy

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KINSTON, N.C. - Thousands are spending the weekend enjoying some baseball and helping Lenoir County’s economy.

On Friday, the annual Freedom Classic kicked off at Grainger Stadium in Kinston. The classic features a three game baseball series between the Air Force and Naval Academies.

Lenoir County Parks and Recreation Director, Bill Ellis, says it’s a great weekend to enjoy America’s pastime and honoring military.

“We've always had a lot of military pride in Kinston, because we are surrounded by bases. It just honors us to be able to honor them," said Ellis.

Ellis says along with honoring the military the series also attracts people from all over the country to Lenoir County. 9 On Your Side talked to one woman, Payton Blue, who traveled from Southern California to watch her brother represent Navy on the diamond. While here in eastern North Carolina she had the opportunity to try collard greens for the first time.

It’s these new experiences that Ellis says events like the Freedom Classic encourage more and more people to visit the county. 
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