Every year, several thousand people mark their calendars for the first Thursday after Thanksgiving because they don’t want to miss Clayton’s festive and popular “Christmas Village & Tree Lighting.” So be sure to circle November 29th from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm so you and your family can come see downtown Clayton come alive with the holiday spirit!
Organized by the Clayton Downtown Development Association, Inc. (CDDA), this is the sixth year that this special community event will close Clayton’s Main Street for 2-1/2 hours of music, holiday cheer, a business open house, a live Nativity, and, of course, the traditional tree lighting at Town Square.
Santa’s Workshop – 6:00 pm-7:45 pm, Mosaic Community Garden, 439 E. Main Street
Children can tell Santa what they’d like for Christmas or just say hi and get a picture taken with the big man! We just ask for a $1.00 donation to the Clayton Area Ministries and you can snap a photo of your child with Santa with your own camera or smart phone.
Downtown Business Open House – 6:00 pm-8:00 pm, Main Street
This is your chance to experience all that downtown Clayton has to offer from retail to service businesses. Many of merchants will welcome you with holiday refreshments including cider, soft drinks, cookies, and candies. If your stomach is calling for more than just snacks, all downtown restaurants will be open for dinner, in fact, even the Wagner House is offering a special Christmas buffet by reservation.
Live Nativity – 6:00 pm-8:00 pm, 120 E Main Street
This year the live nativity moves to the lawn of Sherry’s Signature Cheesecakes, across the street from the Wagner House.
Doggie Christmas Costume Contest & Parade – 6:30 pm
This continues to be a popular contest. Contestants should gather at 6:00 pm at Doggie Do’z at 113 E First Street. A minimum donation of $1.00 or a can of food for Johnston County Animal Shelter is required for all participants. Then at 6:30 pm, we’ll parade toward Santa’s Workshop at Mosaic Community Garden (439 E Main Street) for judging and photos! For more information, call Doggie Do’z at 919-553-5959.
Dance & Choral Performances – 6:00 pm -7:45 pm
Children from Clayton elementary and middle schools, daycares and dance studios will provide holiday performances on risers at Horne Square in the center of downtown. Students from Clayton High Chorus will perform on the steps of the Chamber of Commerce and carol along Main Street.
Clayton Area Ministries (CAM) Holiday Food Drive
Two collection points for the CAM SLAM Holiday Food Drive will be set up at the intersections of Fayetteville Street & Main Street and Lombard Street & Main Street. If everyone brings just one non-perishable food product, more than 4,000 items could be collected for those people less fortunate. For more information call 919-553-5654 or visit www.claytonareaministries.org
Handmade Ornament Project : the children of Clayton are encouraged to make an ornament they can place on the Community Christmas Tree at Town Square, where they will remain through the holiday. For more information, contact Clayton Downtown Development at (919) 553-1545 or email@example.com.
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony – 8 pm (actual lighting at 8:30 pm)
Activities along Main Street will end at 8 pm. Then Santa Claus and “Mr. & Mrs. Christmas”, Jesse & Lyn Austin, will ride in a horse drawn carriage down Main Street and lead the Clayton High School Band from Lombard Street to Town Square. That’s the signal to make your way to Town Square for the lighting! At 8:15 pm, Master of Ceremonies Mayor Jody McLeod will welcome the crowd and serenade them with a Christmas song. Then at 8:30 pm sharp, the countdown to the lighting begins!
Attention drivers: Main Street will officially be closed from Smith Street to O’Neil Street from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm so this special environment can be created there.
For more information and schedule updates, visit www.downtownclayton.org; or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919-553-1545.
The Clayton Downtown Development Association, Inc. is a non-profit organization formed to coordinate revitalization work in the historic downtown district. The Clayton DDA advocates and provides business improvement services in the downtown district, administers incentives for downtown improvements, and organizes several special events, including the Town Square Concert Series, and the Christmas Village & Tree Lighting. For more information visit www.downtownclayton.org.