Join us THIS Thursday for a Clayton Holiday Tradition!
Thousands of people will pack Main Street this Thursday, Dec. 1 to help bring Downtown Clayton alive with the holiday spirit for the 26th Annual Tree Lighting & Christmas Village!
Starting at 5:30 p.m., enjoy two and a half hours of music, holiday cheer, a business open house, a live Nativity, train rides and — of course — a chance to see Santa, now at Horne Square. And new this year, make parking easy with shuttles from Clayton High School or the Post Office. The ticket price? Just one non-perishable food item for needy families!
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony – Town Square
Program begins 7:45 p.m. – Tree lighting 8 p.m. sharp!
Follow Santa Claus and the honorary “Mr. Christmas” Sam Robertson as they ride in a horse-drawn carriage down Main Street to Town Square. The Doggie Costume Contest participants and the Clayton High School Marching band will also help lead everyone to the square at the corner of Main & O'Neil streets. At 7:45 p.m. we'll announce the costume winners and the storefront decoration winner and then start the countdown to the tree lighting begins! Don't miss this holiday tradition.
Mr. Christmas – Sam Robertson
The Clayton Downtown Development Association's 2016 honorary "Mr. Christmas" is Sam Robertson. Born in Clayton here in 1917, Robertson has seen Clayton change dramatically in his 99 years! He served in World War II, came home to raise his family here, and has seen Clayton during peace time and war time. You'll often find him in his family's old business just off Lombard, the Battle Moore Robertson Mule Barn...now one of the most iconic buildings in all of Downtown Clayton.
Santa’s Workshop – MOVES TO HORNE SQUARE THIS YEAR! – 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Normally you'll find St. Nick at the Main Street Community Garden, but this year Santa is at Horne Square! Join us at the Horne Square, 348 E. Main Street at the corner of Lombard, where children can sit on Santa's lap and share their Christmas wishes! Families get to snap free pictures with their cameras or cell phones. Mrs. Claus will also be taking photos with her elves at the Main Street Community Garden, but if you want Santa - head to Horne!
Downtown Business Open House – 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Hundreds get to experience all that Downtown Clayton has to offer from retail to service businesses. Come get to know our small businesses - there are so many new shops to explore! They'll welcome you in with holiday refreshments including cider, soft drinks, cookies, candies and other gifts. If your stomach is calling for more than just snacks, all downtown restaurants are open for dinner.
Reviving of the Beloved Neon Pittman Jewelers Sign – 7 p.m.
Come be part of Downtown Clayton history! The beloved Pittman Jewelers sign on the corner of Main & Lombard streets is finding new life. We'll light this revitalized and iconic sign at 7 p.m. Thank you to Hubert & Bonnie Lee, owners of the building now home to Three Little Birds Decor, for joining forces with the Town of Clayton to preserve this piece of history through a façade grant!
Live Nativity – 5:30–7:30 p.m.
We have to remember the reason for the season! A live nativity can be found on the open lawn of Sherry’s Signature Cheesecakes, across the street from the historic Wagner House. And yes, they have live animals that don’t mind being pet!
Trackless Train – 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Kiddies can hop aboard this free holiday locomotive and enjoy a ride through the winter wonderland. The "train station" is located at Horne Square at the corner of Main & Lombard streets.
Free Photo Booth – 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Grab your friends and your family to snap a free ole-fashioned photo booth holiday photo - a complimentary souvenir of our 26th anniversary tree lighting! Location To Be Announced.
Doggie Christmas Costume Contest & Parade – 6–7:30 p.m.
NEW LOCATION for this popular four-legged competition! Contestants should gather at Clayton Chiropractic, across the from the Clayton Library on Main Street, by 6 p.m. to register their pups. The entry fee of $5 will benefit RUFF (Rescue UR Forever Friend) adoption and rescue organization. Then, at 7 p.m. YOU get to be the judges! The crowd's applause will select the Most Creative, Most Festive and Best Overall. Then all dogs are invited to lead the parade down Main Street at 7:30 to Town Square where the winners will take the stage! Winners receive a gift certificate to Doggie Do’z pet salon at 113 E First Street.
Dance & Choral Performances – 5:30–7:00 p.m.
Children from Clayton elementary schools, middle schools, and daycares provide holiday performances on risers at the corner of Main Street & Smith Street – down toward Wine on Main and the Main Street Community Garden. Children from area dance studios will entertain at at the corner of Fayetteville & Main streets. Catch carolers from Clayton High School at Town Square beginning at 6 p.m. and on the steps of the Clayton Chamber of Commerce starting at 6:30 p.m. The handbell choir from Horne United Methodist Church will perform their crowd favorites as tradition in front of Blackley's Printing, 229 E. Main Street from 6:30–7:30 p.m. Click here for a full schedule of performances.
FREE Shuttles & Clayton Area Ministries (CAM) Holiday Food Drive
Matthews Motors is kindly providing TWO shuttles to Town Square. Park at Clayton High School on Fayetteville Street or at the Post Office on the corner of Front & Central and ride all night. Ticket price: Just one non-perishable food item to be donated to needy families! Your donations for the shuttle rides will go to the Clayton Area Ministries Holiday Food Drive. Please donate any food items you can for those families less fortunate this holiday season. For more information call 919-553-5654 or visit www.claytonareaministries.org.
About the Clayton Downtown Development Association
The Clayton Downtown Development Association Inc. is a non-profit organization formed to coordinate revitalization work in the historic downtown district. The CDDA 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 and Tree Lighting. For more information about this event and others sponsored by the CDDA, please call 919-553-5002 or send us an email!