GREENSBORO, N.C.-- The city of Greensboro is known for many things, and at least one local company is working to make sure one part of its history doesn't fade away.
Greensboro is the denim capital of the world. It's the home of Wrangler and Cone Mills. Chances are you own a pair or two of jeans manufactured by one of the businesses. The city once had a thriving textile industry. A lot of the textile jobs and history went away as plants closed and jobs moved overseas.
Wrangler, which is owned by VF Corporation and maintains its headquarters in Greensboro, is determined to not let that history get lost.
"One of the most iconic products of all time – blue jeans – comes right out of Greensboro, North Carolina," said Allen Montgomery vice president and general manager of Wrangler Western and Specialty. "Whether it’s the fabric that Cone did, or the denim products we make at Wrangler, we should all be proud that Greensboro is Jeansboro worldwide."
The company started an all-out campaign in 2015 called 'Jeansboro Day' to remind people of the history of denim in Greensboro.
Wednesday, the company did it again. This year's event featured NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Richard Childress, former driver and owner of Richard Childress Racing (RCR). RCR is one of the few racing teams in the Triad. It's located in Welcome, which is in Davidson County.
Earnhardt said the Wrangler brand has been a big part of his life since the company first sponsored his father's race car in 1980.
"Every pair of jeans we had in the house were Wrangler jeans," he said.
Utility worker Jimmie Cox was also at the event. Cox, from Texas, was the subject of a viral photo after he went head-first into a hole to fix a broken water line.
Wednesday, Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan gave Cox a key to the city.
"That was amazing," Cox said. "I did not expect that in the least. I figured I’d go up there, shake the mayor's hand; never in my wildest dreams did I figure the mayor would give me the key to the city. I thought that only happened to celebrities."
After the event, Vaughan said it's important to remember Greensboro's impact on the denim industry.
"The legacy that jeans has built in the city of Greensboro, really, I think will go on for a very long time," she said.
Walk down any part of downtown and you'll see the reminders with statues that tell the denim story and 'Jeansboro' signs on buildings.
Even the Greensboro Grasshoppers players sported denim uniforms this past season. They were provided by VF Corp.
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