Grifton, North Carolina

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Grifton, North Carolina
Official seal of Grifton, North Carolina
"The 'Shad' Capital of North Carolina"
"Come Home To...The Family Town!"
Location of Grifton, North Carolina
Location of Grifton, North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°22′30″N 77°26′2″W / 35.37500°N 77.43389°W / 35.37500; -77.43389Coordinates: 35°22′30″N 77°26′2″W / 35.37500°N 77.43389°W / 35.37500; -77.43389
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
CountiesLenoir, Pitt
 • MayorBilly Ray Jackson
 • Total1.7 sq mi (4.4 km2)
 • Land1.7 sq mi (4.4 km2)
 • Water0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
26 ft (8 m)
 • Total2,617
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,500/sq mi (590/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)252
FIPS code37-28200[2]
GNIS feature ID1024010[3]

Grifton is a town in Lenoir and Pitt Counties, North Carolina, United States. The population was 2,617 at the 2010 Census. The town is a part of the Greenville Metropolitan Area located in North Carolina's Inner Banks region.


The town was named after C.M.A. Griffin.[4]


Grifton is located at 35°22′30″N 77°26′2″W / 35.37500°N 77.43389°W / 35.37500; -77.43389 (35.375129, -77.433860).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.4 km²). Contentnea Creek bisects the town and divides the Pitt County section from the Lenoir County section.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20162,661[1]1.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there are 2,073 people, 812 households, and 583 families residing in the town. The population density is 1,209.4 people per square mile (468.1/km²). There are 1,092 housing units at an average density of 637.1 per square mile (246.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town is 63.24% White, 33.19% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.05% Asian, 0.24% Pacific Islander, 2.32% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. 4.73% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.


Grifton is served by Grifton School with grades Pre-K through 8. It is administered by the Pitt County Public School system. High school students attend nearby Ayden-Grifton High School which is located between Ayden and Grifton. Just south of Grifton is popular K-12 school Arendell Parrott Academy

Higher education is provided through nearby Pitt Community College and Lenoir Community College. East Carolina University is located just north of Grifton in Greenville.


The WITN tower is a guyed TV mast with a height of 1,985 feet (605 m) located in the town.

Local events[edit]

Shad Festival[edit]

In 1971, citizens in the town of Grifton established the annual Grifton Shad Festival as a way to increase interest in the town and to provide family-oriented fun for all ages working together.[7] The Shad Festival was suggested by then North Carolina extension agent Ed Comer. Most events are free and outdoors. There are now 40 events, ranging from parade and pony rides to art show, clogging, Hispanic dances, lying contest, historical museum and athletic competitions, including the Shad Toss (throwing real fish).

The annual celebration includes:

  • Hickory Shad fishing contest starting January 1
  • SHAD-O (Grifton's version of Bingo)
  • The "Miss Grifton" pageant, a competition for high-school aged girls
  • Carnival rides and games
  • Craft show
  • Food prepared by local churches and civic organizations
  • Saturday night street dance featuring local bands

John Lawson Legacy Days[edit]

John Lawson Legacy Days is an annual event held at the Grifton Historical Museum and Indian Village, focusing on reenactors, historic interpreters, and historical technology demonstrations.[8] The event was first held in 2010 and is named after John Lawson, an English explorer, naturalist and surveyor who traveled through the Carolinas in 1701 and published a book about his travels in 1709. Lawson was killed by a group of Tuscarora near Grifton in 1711.

Back-N-Time Book Club[edit]

Back-N-Time Book Club is a book club organized by the Grifton Historical Museum in combination with North Carolina Literacy to introduce children and adults to reading.


  1. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 145.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]