Monday, May 22, 2006

Beach On The Square - Weather Limits Success

Over 200 people attended Thursday night's "Beach on the Square" concert on the Town Square and organizer's say the concert was a success, although the weather played a role in limiting the amount of music and number of people participating.

A drizzle delayed the 5:00 start of the music by the Craig Woolard Band for about a half hour and although other areas of Johnston County received heavy rain and lightning downtown Clayton was sunny and dry until around 6:45 pm when the sky opened up. Fortunately, the band quit playing and everyone was able to seek cover just before the downpour!

Other than the limited event (music played about an hour or so) everyone seemed to have a good time. Children enjoyed "The Sandbox" with artist Kelly Sari showing the youngsters how to do stone rubbings and watercolors. Frankie Terrio did balloon sculptures and the Clayton Downtown Development Association were putting lei's on just about everyone who showed up and punching mini-beach balls all around the crowd! Hotdogs, corndogs and other refreshments were provided by "Hunger Pains Concessions" and event tee shirts were sold under the DDA tent. As a matter of fact, there are still a few t-shirts available for sale by calling 553-6813.

Overall it was a great effort by the DDA's Promotion Committee headed up by Bobbie Joe Turner with Beth Williams, Deborah Jones and Joyce Blackley. Downtown Development Coordinator Bruce Naegelen and Clayton Center Director Heidi Stump provided guidance and support. Assistance was also provided from town staff and employees in Public Works and the Electric Department and the Police Department and Clayton EMS during the event.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

MillStock Music & Art Faire Returns to Clayton Saturday June 3

Music and fine arts and crafts blend for an exciting day in downtown Clayton with the 6th Annual Millstock Music and Arts Faire on Saturday, June 3 from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Millstock is held at the corner of Lombard and Second streets in the parking lot of the Coffee Mill and The Flipside.

Jodi Sager, owner of the Coffee Mill at 105 S. Lombard St., said the purpose of Millstock is a showcase for local artists and musicians and this year’s music lineup includes about a half-dozen performers and nearly 20 local artists displaying their work. She said there will also be food vendors, yoga demonstrations and other activities. Among the art displays will be photography, jewelry, pottery, paintings, and stained glass. “We’ll also have T-shirts for sale,” Sager said.

The musical styles are primarily Americana, folk and bluegrass and the lineup is:

11:00 Cunningham Lane
12:00 Jeff Hart & The Ruins
1:00 The Redheaded Strangers
2:00 The Wells Family
3:00 Mike Babyak & Friends
4:00 Kennebec

Artist’s wishing to exhibit and sell their work must meet certain standards. Clayton Visual Arts, which sponsors the Art Faire, requires that all works must be of original design, and executed by the exhibiting artist or artisan. For more information on becoming an exhibitor call Cheryl McCardle at (919) 550-4991.

Millstock is a merger of two events. The Clayton Arts Faire began in 1999 as part of the Clayton Harvest Festival and the Millstock Music Festival, which began in 2001. Both were grassroots efforts designed to bring music and art to downtown Clayton. The events merged two years ago to become an exciting new downtown experience.

Band Descriptions:

Old and new meet on the other side for this folk grass duo. Vocalists Abie Leonard and Gabe Nardin tactfully use their many instruments to create a plethora of harmonious songs that music lovers of all ages will enjoy.

Guitarist and songwriter for the Americana styled "Brown Mountain Lights", "The Nervous Grooms," the power pop "Frosted Sugar Bombs" and his own rock combo "Jeff Hart & The Ruins". He's played bass and guitar in other NC standouts such as the "Two Dollar Pistols", "Chris Stamey's Big Band" and "Robert Kirkland & the Hanks" (following the breakup of "Arrogance"). Jeff Hart is a 17-year veteran of the NC music scene, primarily in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill clubs. An NC original, he covers the gamut of styles from Flying Burrito Brothers, The Byrds, and Ray Davies to Tom Petty and the Replacements.

Well, only one actually has red hair, but the acoustic-based rock sound of newcomers “The Redheaded Strangers” comes at you chock full of Southern and Country music influences. Listeners frequently compare their songs of life’s challenges, angst and hope to those by rocker Tom Petty or country music’s Pat Green. Clayton native Rusty Pounds (lead vocal/guitar/red hair) and good friend Chris Cardwell (vocals/guitar) tell their tales firsthand in an easygoing, foot tapping kind of way. While currently recording their debut CD at Studio 415 with Paul Barton producing and taking up electric guitar duties, the trio will soon assemble musicians to round out the band and promote their recording, scheduled for release in September 2006.

The Wells Family, out of North Carolina, is a band that is accepted in a variety of music genres - Bluegrass, Gospel, Country, Folk, Pop - With a style of their own, they have a rich selection of Strong Powerful Harmonies, Inspiring Accapella’s, Driving Instrumentation, along with Traditional and Original material. Throw in a great sense of humor, and you have a band everyone can enjoy!

Mike Babyak's Triple Fret (formerly known as Shape Shifters) is an electric quartet from North Carolina featuring Mike Babyak on lap steel and electric guitars, along with a lineup of great instrumentalists, including Leo Kishore on bass, Ted Sampson on keyboards and Mike Rosado on percussion.


Monday, May 08, 2006

Downtown Clayton Businesses Featured in Newspaper

There was a nice article in Friday's Herald about a couple of new businesses getting ready to open and one exisitng business, Doggie Doo'z that is getting ready to move into it's own building on First Street.

From left, Charlotte Mason, Rachel Alverson and Doggie Doo'z owner Leah Gordon give dogs Booty, Gizmo and Jenny a haircut. - Herald photo by Michael McLoone

Thursday, May 04, 2006

“Beach on the Square” T-shirts Available for Sale

(Clayton, North Carolina) – A limited number of “Beach on the Square” t-shirts are available for sale at various downtown Clayton businesses. The shirts come in your choice of 3 colors: yellow, pink and light blue and promote the free May 18 concert on Clayton’s new Town Square. The T-shirts are $10 each with proceeds benefiting the Clayton Downtown Development Association.

Beach balls, lawn chairs, and beach blankets are expected to fill the Town Square lawn on May 18 as the popular beach music band, The Craig Woolard Band performs from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

Shirts are available for sale at the following downtown locations:
□ Jeme’s Downtown CafĂ© 217 E Main Street
□ Blackley’s Printing Company 227 E Main Street
□ Flower’s by the Neuse 321 E Main Street
□ Right Angles Custom Framing 401 E Main Street
□ Sunshine Health Wellness 419 E Main Street

The Town Square sits between West Main Street and S. O’Neil and Fayetteville streets.

This free concert is the first of a series of Town Square concerts the Clayton Downtown Development Association is sponsoring for the residents of Clayton.

For more information about “Beach on the Square” call 919.553.1737.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Three Major Goals Established by Clayton Downtown Development Association

Following several months of research, planning, and discussion the Clayton Downtown Development Association (CDDA) this month has adopted a 2006 Plan of Work that is guided by three major goals. There are several strategies for each goal and numerous action steps within each strategy.

CDDA President Joyce Blackley said, “A lot of information was gathered to produce this work plan.” Including, the 2001 Downtown Master Plan, discussions with downtown businesses and property owners, stated goals and priorities of the Town Council and best practices of downtown revitalization. Mrs. Blackley add that, “This is an ambitious work plan, but a majority of it should be accomplished as more people from the community become involved with the CDDA.” She said the goals will be accomplished by downtown business and property owners, residents and others with an interest in downtown Clayton.

The CDDA has been restructured to include more people in the decision-making process through four, new standing committees: Organization, Promotion, Design and Economic Restructuring. These reflect the Four-Point Approach to downtown revitalization as developed by the Main Street Program designed to improve all aspects of the downtown, producing both intangible and tangible benefits. The committees and subcommittees are the mechanism for more public involvement in the redevelopment and revitalization process of downtown.

Here are the three goals and the strategies to accomplish each goal:

Goal 1: Position the CDDA as the Agency Charged with Managing Downtown Clayton

· Strategy A: Develop a strong downtown program – ensure that organizational structures are firmly established and following best management practices

· Strategy B: Compile and Maintain Downtown Data – manage and organize information already acquired about downtown. Strengthen relationships with downtown businesses, property owners and partnerships with community leaders to position CDDA as the voice for downtown issues.

· Strategy C: Communication between CDDA and Downtown – Establish regular communication venues to inform the community about the role of the organization and the progress being made to achieve the master plan vision.

Goal 2: Improve Downtown Appearance and Accessibility

· Strategy A: Downtown Basics - Establishing a basis of downtown standards for growth and revitalization

· Strategy B: Entryway Signage and Gateways – Welcoming people to downtown Clayton

· Strategy C: Ordinances – Insure proper ordinances are in place to encourage success in downtown

· Strategy D: Streetscape Planning & Implementation – Putting the 2001 Master Plan to Work

Goal 3: Strengthening the Downtown Economy

· Strategy A: Business Retention & Recruitment

· Strategy B: Marketing Downtown - Helping Clayton residents discover and use their downtown

· Strategy C: Downtown Special Events – Celebrating Downtown Clayton

· Strategy D: Historic Preservation – Utilizing our past to protect our future

There are numerous action steps to take within each strategy which will be accomplished by the people within each committee. For more information on becoming involved with a committee, call President Joyce Blackley at 553-6813; Promotion Committee Chair, Bobbie Joe Turner at 553-5332; Economic Restructuring Committee Chair, Samantha Muncy at 553-7431; Organization Committee Chair, Doug McCormac at 553-6254. For Design Committee and other information, call Downtown Development Coordinator, Bruce Naegelen at 553-1545.