WILSON, N.C. (WNCT) — Wilson is our latest stop in our month-long Living Local segments.

Each weekday in July we are taking a look at cities and towns around Eastern North Carolina to find out what makes them special. There’s a lot special about Wilson.

In downtown Wilson is one of the most unique parks you’ll ever see. Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, located along South Goldsboro Street, is filled with 30 giant sculptures made from recycled industrial parts. All of them are put together by Simpson, who has since passed away.

Simpson, who lived down the road in Lucama, got started on the whirligigs when he was 65, putting them up in the field across from his workshop. He first called them windmills, but folks around Wilson started calling them whirligigs, and the name stuck.

The park opened in 2017, four years after Simpson passed at age 94.

LIVING LOCAL: What makes ENC so special

(Ashley Turner, WNCT illustration)

No matter what you call them, they have become iconic in these parts and a definite roadside attraction when you visit Wilson.

If you’re hungry or thirsty for an adult beverage, Wilson has one of the most unique places around.

Casita Brewing Company is the local sight to behold and at the location, there is a huge mural. It’s still a work in progress and Casita wants people to come out and help finish it and maybe set a record in the process.

They’ve been working on the project since the brewery opened in this location in August of 2020. The goal is to set the Guinness World Record for the most different people to participate in a paint-by-numbers mural.

People & Places: Casita Brewing Company

So far about 5,000 people participated. The goal is 14,000 to break the record, but they all need to be different people.

“The entire wall outside in our beer garden is a giant mural that Mahalia painstakingly outlined and drew and numbered to make sure there was 15,000 squares out there for people to paint. And it’s actually very fun to watch slowly take shape as people are painting,” said owner Ryan Witter-Merithew.

“It’s really cool when you look at it to know that every single spot and cell that has been painted in that mural is a different person,” said Mahalia Breen, owner of Casita Brewing Company.

If you are interested in helping Casita Break that Guinness World Record, you’re encouraged to come out every Saturday and Sunday. It’s free to participate for all ages. Casita even gives you a free paintbrush to use.
But again, they need about 10,000 different people to paint one spot on the mural to set that world record.