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  • Writer's pictureTopsail Times

Front Page: Holly Ridge is Recognized as the 2nd Fastest Growing Area in North Carolina

Holly Ridge has been recognized through the 2020 Census as experiencing 228% growth in the last decade which is the second highest in the state.

At 4,171 people listed as living in the city limits and annexed areas, the city gained over 2,900 new residents in the last decade. Just drive around town (or outside the city limits to annexed areas) and you will find plenty of single family homes scattered across old farms and giant fields. Holly Ridge city limits are only 1.5 square miles but if you add in all the annexed properties it increases total area to just under 3 square miles. Not sure if you live in the city limits? Give the town hall a call at (910) 329-7081.

With numbers like these the town should certainly have its own schools, at least an elementary school, since so many of the new residents include children. Onslow County opted to name the latest elementary school in the area “Coastal” instead of Holly Ridge. Maybe we can find enough people that are offended by this and get the name changed. I can think of 4,000 people that could make a difference.

On the Onslow County Economic Development site, Holly Ridge is now home to nine of the 25 industries in Onslow County. Atlantic Seafood has just joined the list that includes Gulf Stream Steel, Truss Builders, Atlantic Trucking, Onslow Bay Boats and Blue Candy Fishing Lures. Need a unique swimming pool for a small yard? Check out which is another new addition to the industrial park.

Now with all the great growth in the residential sector, Holly Ridge still lacks a few essentials, like a grocery store, pharmacy, water park, movie theater, outdoor dirt bike track, skate park, dog park, community swimming pool and of course, indoor ski slope which are very hot right now. These items definitely need to be on the future development list.

What does Holly Ridge offer its residents? As of right now, Holly Ridge has doctor and dental offices, a veterinarian, hair salons and barber shop, insurance companies, a hometown bank, a laundry mat, surveyor & engineer, auto repair and tires, restaurants, the area’s largest indoor family fun center (Paradise Axe and Arcade), a gun shop, dog groomer, real estate agents, sign maker, custom made cutting boards, storage buildings, mulch and stone sales, concrete, golf cart sales and professional photography and framing.

I think it’s time Holly Ridge got a little more recognition for what it offers and for it’s past.

Holly Ridge should have been recognized for its World War II base, Camp Davis, when Wilmington won the first WWII Heritage City in 2020. It’s a shame that it wasn’t included.

Did you know that in 2015 over 3,000 people attended the 75th Anniversary of Camp Davis?

The Holly Festival, which took place for over 26 years in Holly Ridge and included games, food and rides, took place the first Saturday of November and would include a parade that required Hwy 17 to be closed in both directions for over 30 minutes. Can you imagine doing that today? Sorry folks, turn off your car and enjoy the fun. The Festival stopped about 20 years ago but maybe it’s time to bring it back (without closing Hwy. 17 of course). With over 4,000 residents there should be plenty of new volunteers.

Holly Ridge placed second to Grandfather Village which had a 280% increase when their town of 25 people grew to 95. Talk about a tiny town!

Neighboring towns like Surf City, also increased its population by 2014 people and now have 3,867 residents.


Part of Issue 3:


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