Lexington, North Carolina

city in and county seat of Davidson County, North Carolina, United States

Lexington is a city in the state of North Carolina, United States. It is near the larger city of Winston-Salem. As of 2020, 19,632 people live in the city.[3]

Lexington, North Carolina
South Main Street
South Main Street
Barbecue Capital of the World
Location in Davidson County and the state of North Carolina
Location in Davidson County and the state of North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°47′50″N 80°16′27″W / 35.79722°N 80.27417°W / 35.79722; -80.27417
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
 • TypeCouncil-Manager government
 • Total19.22 sq mi (49.78 km2)
 • Land19.22 sq mi (49.78 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation728 ft (222 m)
 • Total19,632
 • Density1,021.44/sq mi (394.39/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code336
FIPS code37-38060[4]
GNIS feature ID2404923[2]


Dr. William Rainey Holt built Lexington's oldest home, The Homestead, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

People from Europe first moved to the area in 1775. The town is named after the city of Lexington, Massachusetts, where the first battle of the American Revolutionary War happened. Lexington became a city in 1828. Until the late 1990s, Lexington's economy was based on textile and furniture manufacturing. Since then, most local manufacturers have moved their production facilities to Asia and Mexico to reduce costs. This caused most textile and furniture factories to close, creating economic difficulties in the area.

The oldest remaining house in Lexington is The Homestead, built by Dr. William Rainey Holt (1798–1868), a physician born in Alamance County.[5] Dr. Holt was the President of the North Carolina Agricultural Society and was one of the first to introduce purebred livestock to North Carolina.[6]

Local Culture



Pigs in the City and the Lexington Barbecue Festival bring in tourists from all over the country

Lexington calls itself the "Barbecue Capital of the World".[7] Starting in 1984, the city has the Lexington Barbecue Festival each year, one of the largest street festivals in North Carolina. In 2012, the US News and World Report ranked Lexington as #4 on its list of the best cities for barbecue.[8] Lexington-style barbecue is made with pork shoulder cooked slowly over a hardwood fire, usually hickory wood. It is served with a sauce made with vinegar, ketchup, water, salt, pepper and other spices. There are many different way to make this sauce, mild, tangy, sweet or spicy.

Pigs in the City


Pigs in the City is a public art display managed by Uptown Lexington, Inc.,[9] a non-profit organization that has the goal of increasing the usage of the downtown area of Lexington. Pigs in the City began in 2003[10] and 40,000 visitors from all over the state came to see the event in the first year.[11] Since 2006, the event has been held every year. There are usually 20 or more of these statues on display during the event. Companies pay $1,000 each to sponsor one of the pigs, which pays for the event.[11]

High Rock Lake

High Rock Lake

High Rock Lake is the second largest lake in North Carolina and located near Lexington. Its water surface covers 15,180 acres (61 km2) and there are 365 miles (587 km) of shoreline. It begins where the Yadkin River and the South Yadkin River come together. High Rock Lake has long been considered one of the best fishing lakes of North Carolina.[12] There have been a number of national fishing tournaments held at the lake, such as Bassmaster Tournaments, like the Bassmaster Classic in 1994, 1995, 1997 and 2007.[13] The lake has large numbers of fish, including channel, blue, and flathead catfish, plus crappie and several different sunfish such as bluegill, shellcracker and others. Striper and their hybrids as well as white bass are also abundant. The lake is best known for its quantity and quality of largemouth bass.


The Bob Timberlake Gallery[14] is in Lexington. It opened in 1997, and features original artwork, reproductions, personal memorabilia, as well as home furnishings from the artist Bob Timberlake.


Davidson County Governmental Center

Lexington is in the Piedmont. It is centered at 35°49'0" North, 80°15'31" West (35.816768, -80.258643)[15], in the valley of the Yadkin River. Lexington is 11 miles (18 km) northeast of High Rock Lake, part of the Yadkin-Pee Dee chain of lakes in central North Carolina.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.2 square miles (50 km2), which is all land.

It is bordered to the north and west by Interstate 85 Business, to the south and east by Interstate 85. Both interstates come together just southwest of the city. Additionally, 4 U.S. Highway Routes, U.S. Route 29, U.S. Route 64, U.S. Route 52, U.S. Route 70 and state highways NC Highway 8 and NC Highway 47 intersect the city.



Thunderstorms are common during the spring and summer months, including some severe storms. Being in central North Carolina, between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mid-Atlantic coast, Lexington has a humid subtropical climate, with moderate temperatures during spring and autumn and warm to hot summers. Winters are relatively mild and wet with highs typically in the 40s to 50s and overnight lows averaging just below freezing.

Climate data for Lexington, North Carolina
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 49.6
Average low °F (°C) 28.6
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.06
Average snowfall inches (cm) 2.4
Average precipitation days 10.2 9.3 10.2 9.0 10.0 9.5 10.4 8.4 7.7 6.6 8.8 9.6 109.7
Average snowy days 0.8 0.9 0.4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.3 2.4
Mean monthly sunshine hours 170.5 175.2 229.4 246.0 260.4 270.0 269.7 248.0 225.0 220.1 174.0 164.3 2,652.6
Source: NOAA,[16] HKO (sun)[17]


Davidson County Courthouse

As of the census of 2020, there were 19,632 people in the city, organized into 7,832 households. This represents a population increase of 701 persons, or 3.7%, when compared to the 2010 census. The median age is 39.2 years for all persons (37.7 for females, 40.6 for males).

Of the total population, 19.2% are at least 65 years old, 22.0% are under the age of 18, with the remaining 58.8% of the population being from 18 to 64. Males comprise 47.9% and females make up 52.1% of the total population. Whites (non-Latino) make up 46.3% of the total population, African-Americans (non-Latino) make up 27.6%, Hispanics or Latinos make up 17.6%, and Asians represent 3.0% of the population. 4.3% of the population identifies itself as Two or more races, non-Latino. Other races each represent less than 1% each of the total population.

Of the total 7,832 households, 4,685 are considered Family households, and 2,338 have children under 18. The average household size is 2.51 persons. There are 8,906 total housing units, of which the 7,832 are households, for an occupancy rate of 87.9%. Of these households, 45.1% are owner-occupied, while 54.9% are renters.[3][18]

As of 2022, the median (middle) income for a household in the city was $36,868, and the median income for a family was $41,044.[19] The per capita income for the city was $19,595.[20] 17.3% of families[21] and 21.0% of the population are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 31.6% of those under the age of 18 and 11.8% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.[22] The global outsourcing of textile and furniture manufacturing has damaged Lexington's economy.[23]

Notable people



  1. "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lexington, North Carolina
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2020 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Lexington city, North Carolina". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 24, 2024.
  4. "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. Ashe, Samuel A'Court (14 February 2019). "Biographical History of North Carolina from Colonial Times to the Present". C. L. Van Noppen – via Google Books.
  6. "William Rainey Holt, North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program". Archived from the original on 2011-11-23. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
  7. http://www.visitlexingtonnc.com Lexington Tourism Authority website
  8. Bratcher, Emily H. (2012). "America's Best BBQ Cities". US News and World Report. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  9. Chisom, Savannah (2017-02-27). "Pigs in the City". Medium. Retrieved 2023-09-10.
  10. "Newsroom".
  11. 11.0 11.1 Staff writers Amy Dominello, Tina Firesheets; Sue Schultz and Eric Swensen. "LIFE-SIZE PORKER PROMOTION PROVES POPULAR TO PUBLIC". Greensboro News-Record.
  12. "North Carolina Summer Bass Fishing". Archived from the original on 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
  13. "Camping in Piedmont, North Carolina". Archived from the original on 2005-02-14. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
  14. "The Bob Timberlake Gallery | Bob Timberlake". Archived from the original on 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
  15. "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  16. "Climatography of the United States No. 20 (1971–2000)" (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. August 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-17.
  17. "Climatological Normals of Greensboro". Hong Kong Observatory. Archived from the original on 2011-11-07. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
  18. "P16: HOUSEHOLD TYPE". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 24, 2024.
  19. "S1901: Income in the Past 12 Months (in 2022 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars)". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 24, 2024.
  20. "S1902: Mean Income in the Past 12 Months (in 2022 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars)". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 24, 2024.
  21. "S1702: Poverty Status in the Past 12 Months of Families". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 24, 2024.
  22. "S1701: Poverty Status in the Past 12 Months". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 24, 2024.
  23. http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20081209/ARTICLES/812090297/1005/NEWS Archived 2012-03-25 at the Wayback Machine The Dispatch (Lexington, NC)
  24. "Bob Timberlake Biography | Bob Timberlake". Archived from the original on 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
  25. "Johnny Temple Baseball Stats by Baseball Almanac". www.baseball-almanac.com.
  26. "Perry Tuttle Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  27. "Deems May Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  28. "Driver Mike Dillon Career Statistics - Racing-Reference.info". www.racing-reference.info.
  29. Morris 2/4/2007, Edward. "Harmonica Wizard Terry McMillan Dead at 53". CMT News.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  30. "Rick Terry Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  31. "Chummobile", Pawn Stars, Season 4, Episode 16, March 28, 2011
  32. "Chummobile", Released 2 Nation Records and preformed on several national tours

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