Thursday, December 27, 2007

Small Business Center Workshop Schedule

There are several resources available locally for current and aspiring entrepreneurs and a great one is the Small Business Center at Johnston Community College. Here is a link to their spring training calendar for your information in planning professional development:
http://www.johnstoncc.edu/ConEd/sbc/sbcclass.html

Don Johnson is the director and here's his contact info:
919-209-2015, office
919-359-1176, fax
919-894-9508, mobile

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Clayton Historical Association Interviewed on UNC-TV


UNC-TV's Kelly McCullen today interviewed members of the Clayton Historical Association about the Civil War Trails Marker they hope to have installed that will recognize Clayton as the location of the surrender of Raleigh to Gen William Sherman during the Civil War. Mary Compton (pictured to left) was the first to be interviewed as she told the story to reporter McCullen. Also interviewed were Town Historian Pam Bumgartner and Clayton Historical Association President Porter Casey, Jr. The 4-5 minute segment is expected to be aired on UNC-TV's "NC Now" program in early January.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Downtown Clayton Business News

By the end of January, three new restaurants will open in downtown Clayton, along with a piano bar! Mulberry on Main is expected to open by mid-January; El Sabor de Oaxaca and Clayton Steak House are both expected to open mid-late January. In addition, Main Street Piano Bar is anticapted to open in January. We’ll keep you up to date! A new yoga session with East 2nd Street Yoga and Massage begins the week of January 7th for beginning and experienced students. All classes are held on the 3rd floor of The Clayton Center. Contact number is 919-270-4892 or Clayton Parks and Recreation Department at 553-1551

DOWNTOWN 101: What Color Should I Paint My Building?

We have had several inquiries from business and property owners about improving the appearance of their building, most specifically about the color the building should be painted. This article is intended to present some guidance to help you make that decision based on information gathered this past year to help lead us to the successful revitalization of downtown Clayton.

Over the last six months, a number of property owners have repainted the facades of their buildings. Most updated the former color of the building and others have taken, or may be contemplating, a more radical approach. Upgrading the way our buildings look is an important step in the revitalization process, but doing it with a consensual purpose is equally important.

In August, the North Carolina Main Street Resource Team provided the Town with a report to assist the Downtown Development Association with its efforts to revitalize downtown Clayton. That report, in conjunction with the Downtown Clayton Vision Statement, provides the direction we need to move to achieve that vision in the next five years or so.

Lauren Malinoff, the NC Main Street Designer, conducted the Downtown Clayton Design Workshop in mid-November. One of the topics addressed was: painting. She said that there are “lots of historic colors.” Most of the downtown buildings are brick. She cautioned that if your building is natural brick then don’t paint it! If you are painting brick walls that are already painted, she suggests that Clayton building owners “pick out brick colors…there are so many different brick or masonry colors. She also showed examples of buildings that are painted white, off-white or gray that just “blend in with the sky, but when painted with a masonry color they stand out.”

The following recent statements relate to building appearance and the revitalization of downtown Clayton. Please use them as a guide to help make informed decisions about building color.

“The Main Street program’s design philosophy is that the architectural fabric of your downtown is your heritage, and it is worthy of preservation. Downtown was built over time, one building at a time. We are not, therefore, recommending the restoration of downtown Clayton. Instead we encourage property owners to respect the architectural character of their buildings. We believe in conservative rehabilitation, i.e., removing inappropriate additions (such as shingled mansards, flat metal canopies and oversized signs) and enhancing a building’s positive features with reasonably priced elements like cloth awnings and new signage. Clayton has a rich fabric of late 19th and 20th century commercial buildings. The citizens of Clayton should recognize, protect and celebrate the physical assets in downtown.” – NC Main Street Resource Team Report

“If your building is currently painted, leave it that way. Painting…leads inevitably to maintenance, and you will find yourself having to repaint every 5-7 years. If you are trying to add some color to your façade, you can do this by repainting windows, doors and frames, and by adding new awnings and/or signage.” Removing paint (emphasis added) though costlier than repainting, is actually more economical in the long run, since your masonry need never be painted again. You should consider this if you are weighing paint removal against repainting.” – A How-to Guide for Downtown Building Rehab, Rescue & Repair

““Now a diverse business center, Clayton retains its small town charm as it steams toward its progressive future. Trendy restaurants offer sidewalk cafes and entertainment for all tastes. Every storefront is occupied and restored to its original architectural glory accented by attractive landscaping.” – Downtown Clayton: Vision 2012

As a benefit of Clayton being in the NC Main Street Program, Lauren is available to help property owners with façade design planning. And, the Town has a downtown façade improvement grant program that can be used to improve the appearance of your building. Just give me a call at 553-1545 or send a note by email at bnaegelen@townofclaytonnc.org and we can arrange it.

Town-wide Marketing/Branding/Wayfinding Recommendations Presented


Aaron Arnett & Ben Muldrow of Arnett Muldrow & Associates presented their findings and recommendations Monday night (12/17/07) to the Town Council for a market analysis, Branding & Marketing and Wayfinding Strategy for the Town of Clayton.

They presented strategies for branding and marketing; wayfinding; business development and an implementation strategy, with short term, mid term and long term actions.

In addition, they presented the new marketing logo. Ben Muldrow pointed out that the Town Seal is the primary message for the Town of Clayton, but that there should also be a “marketing logo” for imaging. The tag line, “Thinking Outside the Triangle” connects Clayton with the Triangle and provides the opportunity to market Clayton as a unique destination/location.

Some of the recommended branding and marketing strategies include:

Short Term
– Adopt uniform brand system for Clayton & downtown
– Apply brand to existing organizations, events, & collateral
– Begin aggressively marketing to local growth areas

Mid Term
– Expand Clayton’s marketing reach integrating regional tourism & arts efforts
– Target greater Raleigh market to increase regional penetration

Long Term
– Promote Clayton’s quality of life and recruit residential development
– Follow up market definition study every five years & perhaps quarterly
– New regional event

They reviewed recommended wayfinding signage as well as the type and locations of signs and gateway entrances throughout town. The wayfinding helps residents and visitors find their way around town. Some of the recommendations they made include:

Short term
– Approval of sign design, locations from NC DOT
– Brand application to wayfinding signs, gateways
– Early efforts focusing on downtown trailblazers, banners for character districts

Mid term
– Arterial trailblazers on US 70 & NC 42
– Billboards on I-95 & I-40
– Coordinate new signage with completion of new Bypass

Long term
– Billboards in Raleigh Metro
– New gateway signage on US 70 (west) & US 70/Main
– Secondary gateway signage dowtown

Aaron reviewed the market potential data which shows that Clayton can support over 200,000 square feet of additional retail space. There is tremendous Primary Trade Area leakage and the lack of retail creates the opportunity to expand the local market. In doing so, Clayton must figure out a way to reach the “new” market which is the residential growth associated with Raleigh.

Clayton must build on its strengths to recruit complementary retail based on the market analysis data, such as furniture, apparel, gifts, furniture & home furnishings, and specialty shopping. He said specialty shopping and restaurants would be best suited in downtown and general merchandising on US 70.

Mr. Arnett also noted that there is a HUGE opportunity for expanding restaurant offerings, since restaurants are now pulling more regional customers and visitors. He also suggested developing a great mix of unique businesses downtown with broad appeal. Some of the implementation strategies recommended include:

Short Term
– Town host implementation work session to present this plan & assign responsibilities to partner organizations
– Pursue economic development position at Town to lead business development & recruitment of small businesses, retail, mixed use
– Create advertising committee with reps from key destinations (responsible for marketing, communication, media flight plan)

Mid Term
– Economic Development position strengthens regional partnerships with Economic Development, tourism, cultural agencies
– Community event calendar

Long Term
– Continue to evaluate planning progress & adjust tasks & priorities as needed

The final report will be provided following a review of the material presented last night. For more information, please contact Bruce Naegelen at 553-1545 or bnaegelen@townofclaytonnc.org.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Downtown Clayton Residential Holiday Decorating Contest Winners Announced

The 2007 Downtown Residential Decorating Contest winners were announced today by the Clayton Downtown Development Association. All residential neighborhoods within the boundaries of Robertson Street to the west, US 70 to the south, town limits to the north and US 70 to the east were considered. Categories are Most Traditional, Most Creative, Best Neighborhood Block, and Best Overall. Anonymous, out-of-town judges drove through downtown’s residential neighborhoods between December 9 and 12.

DDA Chair Joyce Blackley said that, “We are fortunate to have such wonderful residential neighborhoods in the downtown area and wanted to recognize them at this time of year.”

Winners in each category, except Best Neighborhood Block, received gift prizes, donated by Fancy That Gifts at 227 E Main Street; Fine Jewelry by Vincent, 335 E Main Street and Cakewalk Creative Studios & Gifts at 308 W Main Street. Winners and Honorable Mentions each received a certificate.

The Contest Results:

BEST OVERALL
326 Page Street
Porter & Timpla Casey

MOST TRADITIONAL
Winner:
113 W Blanche St
Michael Crabtree

Honorable Mention
404 Kildee St
406 S Fayetteville St
304 S Lombard St
307 S Lombard St

MOST CREATIVE
Winner:
555 N O’Neil St
Pete & Laura Sealey

Honorable Mention
614 N O’Neil St
226 Pineland St
112 Hardee St
312 W Stallings St

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BLOCK
Winner:
315 – 339 Page Street
(8 of 9 homes)

Honorable Mention
301 – 339 S. Lombard Street
(8 of 10 homes)

For more information about the Clayton Downtown Development Association, contact Joyce Blackley, Chair at 553-6813 or Bruce Naegelen, Downtown Development Coordinator at 553-1553 or bnaegelen@townofclaytonnc.org. For downtown news and information, visit www.downtownclayton.blogspot.com

Friday, December 14, 2007

Clayton High School Band Concert

The Clayton High School Band will present their annual Holiday Concert at The Clayton Center on Tuesday, December 18 at 8:00 pm. The concert is free!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Clayton Tree Lighting Video

Here's a link to the video from the Clayton Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, November 29, 2007. Thanks to "Henry" for shooting the video!

Tree Lighting Video Part 1

Tree Lighting Video Part 2

Tree Lighting Video Part 3

We will also be posting photographs as we get them!

Downtown Clayton Calendar of Events

Remember, it is always best to call the venue or contact number for the latest updates!

Friday, December 7
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: jazz with Nobody’s Bizness 8:30 pm

Saturday, December 8
CLAYTON CHRISTMAS PARADE, Main Street, Clayton Chamber of Commerce (553-6352) 3:00 pm

THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Zydecopious 9:00 pm

Tuesday, December 11
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Open Mic hosted by Tracy Wiebeck 8:30 pm

Thursday, December 13
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Karaoke with KJ Ray 8:30 pm

Friday, December 14
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Celtic music with Barrowburn 8:30 pm

Saturday, December 15
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Rootzie 9:00 pm

Tuesday, December 18
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Open Mic hosted by Tracy Wiebeck 8:30 pm

Thursday, December 27
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Karaoke with KJ Ray 8:30 pm

Saturday, December 29
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Coty Rivers & Johnny Orr 9:00 pm


Always Shop Clayton First!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Clayton Tree Lighting

WOW! More than 2500 people walked through downtown Clayton last night for the "new" Live Christmas Village and Tree Lighting and everyone seemed to have a great time! WRAL-TV 5 morning news anchor Lynda Loveland visited a number of businesses, supped at Jones Lunch with Mayor Jody McLeod and helped emcee the tree lighting events at Town Square.
Winners of the Storefront Decorating Contest are:

Best Overall - Jones Lunch Cafe
Honorable Mention - Lee's Produce

Most Traditional - Awards & Engravables
Honorable Mention - Four Seasons Gift Baskets & More

Most Creative - Signage of the Carolina's
Honorable Mention - Pizzaz

The Grinch Award - Hometowne Realty

We'll be posting some more video and photos from last night's events as well as photos of the contest winners.

Be sure to post your comments about last night's event, too!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Live Christmas Village & Tree Lighting Map

Live Christmas Village & Tree Lighting Schedule

Behind the Scenes: Mulberry on Main Italian Restaurant & Catering


The following is a brief family history of the Gubitosi's, the owners of "Mulberry On Main Italian Restaurant and Catering" at 217 E Main Street, scheduled to open on December 20:

My name is Gennarino Gubitosi but everyone calls me Jerry. My wife, Bernadette and I are blessed with seven beautiful daughters, Elise, Nicole, Antoniette,Cassandra, Alexis, Victoria and Genna and finally, a grandson, Dominic and son-in-law Kyle. My wife and I have a love for food, family and friends. This passion to gather together to share our love for each other over a great meal has been handed down for generations.

My family originally came to America in the early 1900's, when my great-grandfather settled down in what is now known as "Little Italy" in New York. He stayed here for a few years and went back to Italy after serving in Africa at the beginning of World War I. He returned to Benevento, Italy near Naples and continued to raise his family working in the industry. His brother remained in New York raising his family and eventually moved out west to California where he tried to get his family into the acting business. He succeed with his son, Mickey Gubitosi, who landed a part in the comedy series The Little Rascals and later changed his name to Robert Blake and found fame as the quirky cop Baretta. But that's the other side of the family. My mother Anotonietta and father Luciano met in that small town of Italy where I was born in 1961. We came to the United States in 1966 on the Christopher Columbus ship to Ellis Island and settled down in New York City, but did not stay for too long. We returned to Italy after my sister Maria was born and stayed there long enough to have another sister, Elisabetta. We decided to give America another chance and this time sailed to Ellis Island on the Michaelangela. Shortly after that my sister MichelleAngela was born. I think we were the only family in New York that "came off the boat" twice!

I began helping my mother in the kitchen and found I loved to cook. When I was eighteen I worked in a busy New Jersey Pizzeria then worked my way up the line of a four star Italian restaurant. I learned from some of the best. After meeting my wife we moved to Hackettstown, New Jersey where we began our family and our restaurant. We opened "Casa Gennaro's" in 1986 where we remained open until September 10, 2001. God's timing is, as always, perfect! After the attack on 9/11 the economy in New York and New Jersey went through a temporary slump, especially the restaurant business. I found work with the Labor Union at Ground Zero and continued working there for two years. In January of 2004, we decided to move to North Carolina to seek a better life for our girls and I found myself back in the restaurant business, unable to stay away from my passion for food and especially for cooking for others. We established our corporate catering business which has grown into a successful endeavor and now are excited about serving our new paisans of Clayton.

My mother, sisters and their families have also relocated here to Clayton and we are all looking forward to serving you with authentic, Italian food in a relaxed atmosphere. Buon Appetitio!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Live Christmas Village & Tree Lighting Committee

You've seen everything that is being planned for the November 29 Live Christmas Village and Tree Lighting on this blog - and in very good article in the Clayton News Star which I'll post as soon as they put it up on their website. But you haven't heard much about the folks who have been putting it all together! They are a wonderful group of creative and vivacious folks led by the Downtown Development Association's Promotion Committee chair, Lyn Austin. They have been meeting since early September to totally revamp the event and include more of the downtown area.

The Christmas Village & Tree Lighting Committee is comprised of left to right in the photo: Ryan Rosendahl, Brian Cherney, Beth Williams, Ed Knight, Lyn Austin, Lorraine Perri, Debbie Hammond, Timpla Casey, Debbie Jones and DDA Chair, Joyce Blackley.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

“Live Christmas Village” on November 29 Schedule and Activities

Everything is in place for Clayton’s “New” Live Christmas Village and Tree Lighting on Thursday, November 29 from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm in downtown Clayton. Festivities begin with the fun Doggie Costume Contest at 6:00 pm with local schools and dance performances to follow. Santa Claus will be announcing each of the scheduled performances and will lead the Clayton High School Band parade from Smith Street to the Town Square beginning around 7:30 pm. At the Town Christmas Tree on Town Square, WRAL-TV 5 morning news anchor Lynda Loveland will announce the Downtown Storefront Decoration Contest winners, Mayor Jody McLeod will serenade Ms Loveland with a Christmas song and the Clayton High School Chorus will perform and lead everyone singing Christmas Carols. For the finale, Lynda Loveland will light the tree. Lyn Austin, who is the Downtown Development Association’s Promotion Committee chair said, “I hope everyone will come early, have some food, and stroll up and down Main Street. Many of the businesses will be open serving refreshments and giving away a free Christmas tree ‘Blinky’ gift.”

28 downtown businesses will be open including three restaurants: Jones Lunch Café, 415 E Main St; The Flipside at 408 E Second St; Main Steak Bistro 312 E Main St.

The award categories for the Downtown Storefront Decorating Contest will be Most Creative, Most Traditional and Best Overall. In addition, a “People’s Choice” award will be voted on and announced at a later date. A “Grinch” award will be bestowed on non-participating storefronts! All businesses and buildings in the downtown commercial district (Robertson St to US 70 between First Street, Main Street and Second Street) will be considered. Cash prizes will be granted to category winners: $100 each for Best Overall and People’s Choice; $75 each for Most Creative and Most Traditional.

The Downtown Residential Decorating Contest will be judged between December 9 and 12 and announced on December 14. Categories will be Best Overall, Most Traditional, Most Creative and Best Neighborhood Block. All residential neighborhoods within the boundaries of Robertson Street to the west, US 70 to the south, town limits to the north and US 70 to the east will be considered. Gift prizes will be given to residential winners.

Anonymous judges for both contests will be from outside Clayton and winners and honorable mentions will receive certificates.


Schedule of Performances/Activities

6:00 pm Doggie Costume Contest Doggie Do’z 113 E First St
Doggie Parade up Main Street
6:30 pm Awarding of Prizes Barbour Bldg Parking 401 E Main St

6:40 pm Lipscomb Day Care Parking Lot Main & Lombard
6:50 pm West Clayton Elementary Crescent Bank 315 E Main St
7:00 pm East Clayton Elementary Main Street Jeweler’s 236 E Main St
7:10 pm Riverwood Elementary Stokes Family Chiropractic 201 E Main St
7:20 pm Turning Point Dance Studio Clayton Mart 208 E Main St
7:30 pm Clayton High School Band First Federal Bank 442 E Main St
Will begin performing and leading crowd toward Town Square, led by Santa Claus
8:00 pm Lynda Loveland Town Christmas Tree Town Square
8:10 pm Clayton High Chorus Town Christmas Tree Town Square
8:20 pm Christmas Tree Lighting Town Square

Additional entertainment and events will be provided throughout the evening at various locations:
- Horne Memorial Hand bell Choir will perform in front of Blackley’s Printing at 229 E Main St
- A Musical Performance & homemade fudge for sale at Woman’s Club Gazebo 109 Church St
- Clayton Visual Arts & JOCO Artists Guild will have an exhibit of artists at 217 E Main St
- Clayton Historical Association booth will provide hot cider, hot chocolate and sell 2008 CHA picture calendars at 307 E Main St.
- A live nativity by Noah’s Ark will be featured at 120 E Main Street

Business Open House
Four Season Gift Baskets & More 104 W Main St
North Carolina Paper Co 114 W Main St
True Line Surveying 205 W Main St
Coffee Mill / The Flipside 105 S Lombard St
Doggie Do'z 113 E First St
Pizzaz 132 E Main St
A-1 Custom Painting 200 E Main St
Lorie Paulk Photography 202 E Main St
Clayton Mart 208 E Main St
Fancy That Gifts 227 E Main St
Sweet T Couture (inside Fancy That) 227 E Main St
Blackley's Printing 229 E Main St
Kelly's Antiques 232 E Main St
Main Street Jewelers 236 E Main St
Flowers by the Neuse 321 E Main St
Awards & Engravables 327 E Main St
HomeTowne Realty 328 E Main St
Edward Jones 331 E Main St
Fine Jewlery by Vincent 335 E Main St
W.R. Starkey Mortgage 336 E Main St
Gail O'Neil Design 401 E Main St
Hair on Main 401 E Main St
Johnston County Democratic Party 401 E Main St
Jones Lunch 415 E Main St
Sunshine Health & Wellness 419 E Main St
Clayton Furniture Outlet 425 E Main St
Cider House Studio 436 E Main St
Stellar Peer Recovery Ctr 440 E Main St
Lewis Tire & Automotive 451 E Main St

In addition to the Clayton Downtown Development Association and the Town of Clayton, event sponsors are: BB&T, Beddingfield's Drug Company, Blackley's Printing, Clayton Spinning Mill, Clayton Steak House, Crescent State Bank, Elmore Furniture, Fancy That Gifts, Fine Jewelry by Vincent, First Federal, Four Oaks Bank, HomeTowne Realty, Hudson's Hardware, Jesse & Lyn Austin, Main Street Jewelers, Medlin Office Supply, Morning Glory Inn.

Traffic Info


On Thursday, November 29, Main Street in downtown Clayton will be closed from Smith Street to O’Neil Street between the hours of 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm . Through traffic traveling eastbound can detour to US 70 via Shotwell Road, Moore Street and Robertson Street. Westbound traffic can detour to US 70 via Durham Street and Smith Street.

Hudson's Hardware moving

Staff Writer, Sue Stock

After 22 years in one place, Clayton staple Hudson's Hardware is moving to a bigger space.
For the complete story

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Clayton Historic District Presentation Well-Attended

There were about 33 people in attendance at the presentation of the first draft of the proposed Clayton Historic District last night, most of whom were property owners (commercial and residential) within the proposed district. Consultant Nancy Van Dolsen, who is preparing the nomination for the National Register of Historic Places, discussed the process and presented a short slide show that outlined Clayton's history. Jeff Adolphsen, a Restoration Specialist with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)provided an brief overview about the Rehabilitation Tax Credits available to eligible property owners within the historic district. Income-producing buildings can receive a 20% tax credit from the feds and 20% from NC. Non-income producing buildings can receive a 30% tax credit from NC.

A few points that Nancy made:

1) This is a changing document and she welcomes changes, corrections, and additions to the information in the first draft

2) The boundaries are not likely to get any smaller, but only larger

3) "Contributing" buildings reflect the period of significance (1885 - 1960) Changes to the original structure should have been made prior to 1960

4) A historic district needs to have a large concentration of buildings that "contribute" to the district

5) She is asking SHPO (which is reviewing the draft over the next 6 months)if an area east of the boundary in the Second Street area can be included if the gap isn't too significant.

6) A National Register District does not preclude anything from being done to the building. It does however, trigger a Section 106 Review (National Historic Preservation Act of 1966)if a governmental agency applies for a permit to make a change within a historic district (ie DOT)

Ms Van Dolsen said the final nomination package would likely be presented to the National Register Advisory Committee by next October. They only meet 3 times a year (February, June and October). With the draft being reviewed starting this month, and approximately 6 mo process, then making corrections and changes as recommended by the SHPO, it pushes the presentation to October 2008.

A reference copy of the first draft is available at the Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library and Town Clerk's office.

Nancy Van Dolsen's number is (252)243-7861 and email is woodhamfarm@embarqmail.com

Jeff Adolphsen's phone number is (919) 807-6572 and his email is jeff.adolphsen@ncmail.net

More information about Historic Tax Credits and Historic Districts may be found at the State Historic Preservation Office website.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Christmas Village & Tree Lighting Poster

Obsolete Utility Lines Removed From Clayton’s Main Street


There is a clearer view of the sky and architectural beauty in downtown Clayton since a layer of utility lines was removed recently from utility poles.

As a result of system upgrades Clayton Electric Department workers removed obsolete overhead utility lines on East Main Street from the Wagoner House at 121 E Main Street to Clayton Furniture Outlet at 425 E Main Street.

According to Ronnie Wood, Director of the Town of Clayton Electric Department, the lines were bypassed and no longer needed. He said, “They were some older lines that were not being used any longer and, as part of the Town’s efforts to improve the appearance of downtown, we were able to remove them.”

The remaining lines, he added, are telephone and cable lines. There are hopes that, in time, those lines may be rerouted also and downtown can be free of overhead lines entirely.

The Town of Clayton has been in the process of upgrading electrical service in the downtown area since early 2006. The upgrade consisted of the extension of the 23 KV facilities and the removal of the 4 KV systems which included removing the substation facility on Moore Street. In the process, certain power poles and lines were consolidated and rerouted so they would be less noticeable.


The Downtown Clayton Vision Statement developed in the spring, suggests underground utility lines by 2012. According to Downtown Development Coordinator, Bruce Naegelen, it will be a very expensive project, but the DDA is working toward that goal. In the meantime, Naegelen said, the DDA is improving the ground level appearance of downtown. He said, “Just putting utility lines underground does not bring more visitors and customers to downtown, but improving the appearance of downtown Clayton at the pedestrian level, will be a more effective way to bring more people to downtown.”

The Downtown Development Association (DDA) is doing this by working with property owners to upgrade downtown building facades, working with business owners to develop attractive and inviting window displays and by developing easy access parking from Robertson Street to Smith Street, informational and directional signage, crosswalks and other pedestrian-friendly improvements.

Naegelen reminds residents that revitalization is an incremental process, “Lots of small steps lead to realizing the vision and progress being made.”

For more information on downtown Clayton and the DDA, please contact Bruce Naegelen at 553-1545 or bnaegelen@townofclaytonnc.org. Or DDA Chair Joyce Blackley at 553-6813.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Downtown gets defensive: Booster dispute chamber leader's assessment

By Sarah Nagem, Staff Reporter

CLAYTON -- Downtown has a nightlife -- or at least things are moving in the right direction, some locals say.

Jodi Sager, owner of The Coffee Mill and The Flip Side on Lombard Street, is one of those people. "We have a very unique venue here," she said. (full article)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Clayton Halloween Parade!


It was great weather for hundreds of costumed children (and adults!) in downtown Clayton for the annual Halloween Parade and Festival organized by the Clayton Parks and Recreation Department. A large number of downtown businesses provided the treats for everyone on a "closed-to-traffic" Main Street between Lombard St and Fayetteville St.

Here are some random pictures of all the festivities and costumes today.

Friday, October 26, 2007

WRAL-TV News Anchor Lynda Loveland Special Guest at Clayton’s “Live Christmas Village” on November 29


The Downtown Development Association has announced that WRAL-TV news anchor, Lynda Loveland will be a special guest and participant in several activities during the November 29 event. Ms Loveland will announce the Storefront Decoration Contest winners, as well as visit various open houses and enjoy the student performances along Main Street. Along with Mayor Jody McLeod, she will also perform the actual Town Tree Lighting at Town Square at 8:30 pm.

Ms. Loveland has been the morning news anchor at WRAL-TV in Raleigh since 1998. She is a Missouri native and attended college in Texas. She has always been a big sports fan, and loves to play basketball and volleyball when she gets the time. She has also earned a deputy black belt in tae kwon do. She and her husband have three children: Campbell, Caiden and the most recent addition, Carys. She said she is looking forward to being in Clayton, “It sounds like you have a great event planned and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

“A Live Christmas Village” will be presented from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm on November 29and is being organized by the Promotion Committee of the Clayton Downtown Development Association (DDA). Dance and choral performances by local students and the Tree Lighting ceremony will continue to be a main focus of the event.

This event enhances Clayton’s traditional Christmas performance and tree lighting ceremony, by bringing the events to downtown’s commercial and retail core. The DDA is requesting that Main Street be closed from Smith to O’Neil Street from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm so a special environment of festivities and activity can be created there.

Performances by specific groups are still being arranged and a celebrity appearance will be announced soon. Activities include:

The Merchant’s Open House
Downtown Storefront Decorating Contest
Dance & Choral Performances
Pet Costume Contest & Parade –
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

For more information and schedule updates, visit www.downtownclayton.blogspot.com or call Lyn Austin at 553-4439 or Debbie Hammond at Fancy That Gifts at 550-2946.

Downtown Design Workshop Scheduled for Thursday, November 15 at 6:30 pm

On Thursday, November 15, the Clayton Downtown Development Association will present the “Downtown Design Workshop” led by Lauren Malinoff, Designer for the NC Main Street Center. The workshop will be held from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm in the Poole Room at The Clayton Center, 111 E Second St. in downtown Clayton.

The workshop will cover a variety of subjects including restoration and rehabilitation; examples of storefront rehabilitation with before and after photos; signs, awnings, paint colors and lighting. Ms. Malinoff will also review the Clayton “Picture Downtown” photo display. 36 people roamed through downtown Clayton last spring taking pictures of buildings they liked and disliked and they were featured during the Main Street Vision Forum in April. Building codes and investment tax credits will also be discussed during the workshop.

Understanding downtown design is important to the whole revitalization process, according to Clayton’s Downtown Development Coordinator Bruce Naegelen. He said, “Good downtown design is not only a consideration of what looks good, but understanding why it looks good and why good design is effective in the downtown community.” Jeme Avent, Chair of the DDA’s Design Committee, said that this workshop comes at a good point since, “we will be doing more about the appearance of buildings and streetscape improvements.” She added that the workshop, “property and business owners will also better understand why downtown design is important in the revitalization process and learn more about what we should be doing.”

Lauren Malinoff has been the state's Main Street Designer since 1984. She works in the Division of Community Assistance's Asheville Regional Office, and has provided design services for all of North Carolina's 45 Main Street communities.

One additional benefit of Ms. Malinoff’s visit is that, the afternoon of the workshop; she will be able to meet with several property and business owners who are serious about wanting to improve their building and will provide some design guidance to them. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact the Downtown Development Coordinator to arrange a time.

The DDA’s Design Committee is encouraging all downtown business and property owners to attend this workshop as well as anyone else with an interest in downtown design. It is open to the public, but pre-registration is encouraged by emailing bnaegelen@townofclaytonnc.org or by calling 553-1545.

The photo on the left shows Earp's Garage at 420 E Main Street in December 2006 and the photo on the right shows the same building following some new paint last month.


First Draft of Proposed Clayton Historic District Nomination Ready


Informational Presentation Set for Tuesday, November 13

The first draft of Clayton’s proposed historic district has been given to the State Historic Preservation Office for review, and is also available for review locally. An opportunity to ask questions about the proposed district is scheduled for Tuesday, November 13 at 7:00 pm in the Poole Room at The Clayton Center, 111 E Second Street. National Register consultant, Nancy Van Dolsen, will provide a brief review of the process of developing the historic district, and give a presentation about the proposed Clayton Historic District. A copy of the document is available for review at the Hocutt Ellington Library at 100 S Church Street and in the Town Clerk’s office at The Clayton Center, 111 E Second Street.

The proposed historic district is bounded by Fayetteville Street, Stallings Street, Mill Street, Lombard Street and Blanche Street and, in the first draft, is comprised of 207 contributing buildings and structures and 64 non-contributing buildings ands structures. The proposed district’s period of significance is 1890 – 1960.

In June, 2006 a proposed Clayton Historic District was approved by the National Register Advisory Committee for placement on the North Carolina National Register Study List. That was the first step in the process of nominating a district to the National Register of Historic Places in North Carolina.

Last fall, the Town of Clayton engaged the services of National Register consultant, Nancy Van Dolsen of Wilson, to prepare the nomination for Clayton’s Historic District. She had prepared the Study List application as part of Keep Johnston County Beautiful’s historical survey update of the county in anticipation of publishing a book on the county’s historic architecture.

Seating will be limited, but is open to the public. For more information, please contact Downtown Development Coordinator, Bruce Naegelen at 553-1545 or via email at bnaegelen@townofclaytonnc.org.

Friday, October 19, 2007

“Downtown Clayton Holiday Decorating Contest” Announced by Downtown Development Association

Two holiday decorating contests are being organized by the Clayton Downtown Development Association for the upcoming Christmas season.

A Downtown Storefront Decorating Contest will be judged on the evening of November 27 and winners will be announced at 8:30 pm on November 29 at the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Town Square. Award categories will be Most Creative, Most Traditional and Best Overall. A “People’s Choice” award will also be determined and announced at the same time. A “Grinch” award will also be bestowed on non-participating storefronts! All businesses and buildings in the downtown commercial district (Robertson St to US 70 between First Street, Main Street and Second Street) will be considered. Cash prizes will be granted to category winners: $100 each for Best Overall and People’s Choice; $75 each for Most Creative and Most Traditional. Winners will be announced a celebrity guest!

In addition, a Downtown Residential Decorating Contest will be judged between December 9 and 12 and announced on December 14. Categories will be Best Overall, Most Traditional, Most Creative and Best Neighborhood Block. All residential neighborhoods within the boundaries of Robertson Street to the west, US 70 to the south, town limits to the north and US 70 to the east will be considered. Gift prizes will be given to residential winners.

Anonymous judges for both contests will be from outside Clayton and winners and honorable mentions will receive certificates.

For more information, visit www.downtownclayton.blogspot.com or call Debbie Hammond at Fancy That Gifts at 550-2946 or Lyn Austin at 553-4439.

"A Live Christmas Village" is Scheduled for Downtown Christmas Promotion on Nov 29

A new concept for a traditional Clayton holiday event is taking shape in downtown Clayton. “A Live Christmas Village” will be presented from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm on November 29 and is being organized by the Promotion Committee of the Clayton Downtown Development Association (DDA). Dance and choral performances by local students and the Tree Lighting ceremony will continue to be a main focus of the event. But, as Committee chair, Lyn Austin said, “The main focus is to bring the activities to the street and let people in Clayton know about the wonderful opportunities available in downtown Clayton.”

This event enhances Clayton’s traditional Christmas performance and tree lighting ceremony, by bringing the events to downtown’s commercial and retail core. The DDA is requesting that Main Street be closed from Smith to O’Neil Street from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm so a special environment of festivities and activity can be created there. “Although most of the festivities this year are concentrated between Lombard and O’Neil streets”, Ms Austin said, “in coming years the event will grow to include more of the downtown area.” She emphasized that the Downtown Storefront Decorating Contest does include ALL downtown businesses.

Performances by specific groups are still being arranged and a celebrity appearance will be announced soon.

The Merchant’s Open House – 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – This is an opportunity for residents to experience what downtown has to offer from retail to service businesses. Many merchants will provide some sort of holiday refreshment, whether it is cider, soft drinks, cookies, and candies.

Downtown Storefront Decorating Contest - Winners of the decorating contest will be announced at the Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 29. Award Categories will be Most Creative, Most Traditional and Best Overall. A “People’s Choice” award will also be determined and announced at the same time. A “Grinch” award will also be bestowed on non-participating storefronts! All commercial businesses on Front Street, First Street, Main Street (east and west) and Second Street will be considered.

Dance & Choral Performances – Students from Clayton schools and studios will provide holiday performances, as always, but this time the performances will take place on Main Street.

Pet Costume Contest & Parade – Still in the planning stages, this contest and parade will take place at Doggie Do’z on E First Street! For more information, call Amy Hallinan at 553-5959.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony – Activities on Main Street will end by 8:15 pm as everyone will be lead to the Christmas Tree at Town Square. Several performances are scheduled, then everyone will join together for a candlelight carol or two, and then the Christmas Tree will be lit!

For more information and schedule updates, visit or call Lyn Austin at 553-4439 or Debbie Hammond at Fancy That Gifts at 550-2946.

CHECK BACK HERE FOR MORE UPDATES!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ashley Horne Development Site Proposals







There have been a couple of articles recently about the proposals for the Ashley Horne Development Site (aka "Lombard Lot") at the corner of Main Street and Lombard Street in downtown Clayton. Here are the links. What are your thoughts?

"The Ashley" concept by the Lundy Group is on the left and "The Horne Center" concept by the Walthom Group is on the right

10/03/2007 Clayton News Star

10/10/2007 Clayton News Star

10/17/07 Smithfield Herald

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New Clayton Promotional Video Online!


There hasn't much word about it, but check out the new Town of Clayton promotional video by clicking on this box on the town website - www.townofclaytonnc.org

Whaddyathink?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Kiwanis of Clayton Presents "The Switch" on October 11



Kiwanis of Clayton presents a free concert this Thursday night - October 11 from 5 pm until dark at The Town Square in Downtown Clayton. "The Switch" the Carolina's favorite party band!

Buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win prizes! Proceeds are donated to families within the community.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

”Boys From Carolina Bluegrass Band” to Close Out


The final concert in the Town Square Concert Series on Thursday, September 20 at 6:00 pm, will feature The Boys From Carolina Bluegrass Band. They’ve been together since September of 2004 and the band members have over 160 years of combined musical experience. The band plays traditional to contemporary bluegrass music and it prides itself in style and presentation. Every band member sings, which leads to unique harmonics not heard in other bands.

Refreshments will be available, including hot dogs, hamburgers, soft drinks, beer, wine, and home made ice cream! The free concert is sponsored by the Town of Clayton and Downtown Development Association, with major support from Caterpillar, Novo Nordisk and Clayton News Star. Additional support comes from Avent-Permenter Group, Clayton Glass & Mirror, Hometowne Realty, Hudson’s Hardware, Matthews Motors, Morning Glory Inn and True Line Surveying.

The Town Square is in downtown Clayton and sits between Main Street and S. O’Neil and Fayetteville streets. For more information call (919) 553-1545 and for updates check the Downtown Clayton blog at www.downtownclayton.blogspot.com.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Interactive Capital of the World… Clayton?

When Media Two Interactive moved its business to the town of Clayton, NC, President Michael Hubbard playfully responded to colleagues questions about his choice of headquarter locations simply by saying: “Obviously, Clayton is the ‘Interactive Capital of the World’”. Four years later, Media Two is adding a little truth to that statement.

In the September issue of Inc. Magazine that hit the newsstands Monday, Media Two has
been honored as one of the fastest growing private companies in the United States.
“We’re elated” stated Michael. “This award shows that being dedicated to your clients
needs and visions can land you on top regardless of the size of your company.”
Even with recent new additions to the team, Media Two presently employ’s only 13
people. As business continues to grow, Michael anticipates adding another seven people ranging from programmers to flash designers to account coordinators, and all may be added before the year is out -- assuming they can move into their new space that’s being designed in the old Clayton Spinning Mill located directly behind the Post Office in downtown Clayton.

“The people we have here now average over 7 years of experience in the interactive
advertising industry – and in an industry that is barely 14 years old – that’s a lot of people that really know what they’re doing.” This type of employee experience has
propelled Media Two to already surpass last year’s growth by more than 90% (and last
year was the year that landed them on the Inc. 5000 list). Of course, no matter how
tech savvy your business is, you can’t survive without having the right clients.
Two years ago Media Two had over 40 clients on its roster when it decided to make an
executive decision and release more than half of those clients outright. “The clients
we parted ways with were great people and fun to work with, but as a small, client ROI driven company, we felt we were stretching ourselves too thin trying to help everyone. We came up with a new business model that essentially said we would only work with clients that saw the potential of the internet as a crucial piece to their marketing mix. This change allowed us to focus more time and effort on those clients, and in turn, helped them grow as we grew along with them.”

The moved paid off as Media Two not only made the prestigious listing (#569
nationwide), but it finished 52nd overall in the Advertising & Marketing category and
finished 13th overall for the State of North Carolina.

About Media Two Interactive
Media Two Interactive (www.MediaTwointeractive.com) is a full service advertising
agency that specializes in marketing for firms who want an emphasis on their
interactive plans. Media Two works with publicly traded clients such as Microsoft, MF
Global, LasikPlus Vision Centers and more. Media Two is a privately held firm with its corporate offices located approximately 15 miles southeast of Raleigh in the town of Clayton, NC (“the interactive capital of the world”). For more information on Media Two, please contact Michael Hubbard at 919-553-1246 ext 10 or mhubbard@mediatwo.net.

About the Inc. 5000
Inc. Magazine’s 2007 rankings are based on the percentage growth of the businesses
revenue from 2003 through 2006. To be eligible for the 2007 Inc. 5,000, the companies
on the list must be 1) independent and privately held (not a subsidiary or a division
of a larger firm with other revenue-generating operations). 2) have a full four-year
sales history. Sales in 2003 must be for a full 12 months; if your company had less
than 12 months of sales in 2003, it is not eligible for the 2007 Inc. 500/Inc. 5,000.
3) Be based in the United States.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sisters and their mom open bakery in downtown Clayton

Here's a good story by the Herald on the recently opened Petals and Pastries in downtown Clayton!


CLAYTON -- Erica Creech, Amanda Turner and Holy Strickland are as close as sisters can be.

They grew up in the kitchen, helping their mom, Jen Freeman, bake cakes, cookies and other sweet treats. Of course, the best part was licking the spatulas and beaters after mom was finished with the batter. Now, the sisters, who live just four blocks apart in Selma, are asking their little ones to be the taste-testers for their new bakery, Petals & Pastries. The rest of the story...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Town Square Concert Series – True Spirit August 23


True Spirit will perform at the next Concert on the Square on August 23 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. True Spirit is a group with a unique style of music which appeals to people from all walks of life. True Spirit was once known as “Kingdoms Heir”. The group was formed in 1989 and the group has recorded three projects, “My Father Rich”, “True Spirit” and their current CD “Revelation Times” which is climbing the Southern Gospel market charts. The group is made up of David Montague, Robert Siler, Glenn Frazier, John Cooper and Terrence Todd Dewberry. Together, they create the kind of music that touches your heart and lifts your spirits.

The free concert is sponsored by the Town of Clayton and Downtown Development Association, with major support from Caterpillar, Novo Nordisk and Clayton News Star. Additional support comes from Avent-Permenter Group, Clayton Glass & Mirror, Hometowne Realty, Hudson’s Hardware, Matthews Motors, Morning Glory Inn and True Line Surveying.

The final Town Square Concert of the series will be “Boys from Carolina Bluegrass Band” on September 20.

The Town Square is in downtown Clayton and sits between Main Street and S. O’Neil and Fayetteville streets. For more information call (919) 553-1545

Calendar of Events (Downtown)

Remember, it is always best to call the venue or contact number for the latest updates!

Friday, August 17
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Pale Blue Band (Rock/blues/jazz)
GOODTIMES CAFÉ & TAVERN 219 E Second Street, 550-0623:

Saturday, August 18
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: T. Rox & the Skankosaurs (ska)
GOODTIMES CAFÉ & TAVERN 219 E Second Street, 550-0623:

Thursday, August 23
CONCERT IN THE SQUARE: “TRUE SPIRIT” – 6:00 pm
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Karaoke
GOODTIMES CAFÉ & TAVERN 219 E Second Street, 550-0623:

Friday, August 24
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Young Neil & The Damage Done
GOODTIMES CAFÉ & TAVERN 219 E Second Street, 550-0623:

Saturday, August 25
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Closed for Lisa & Brian’s Wedding
GOODTIMES CAFÉ & TAVERN 219 E Second Street, 550-0623:

“Dog Wash” to Benefit Johnston County Animal Protection League – SATURDAY!

The Johnston County Animal Protection League is sponsoring a “Dog Wash” this Saturday (tomorrow) at 4002 E Main Street (Robinson Animal Hospital) from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. There is a minimum donation of $5.00. Remember to bring your dog’s RABIES CERTIFICATE! Tags will not suffice. Oh, and they ask that you bring a towel if you can… For more information call 989-7601.

Downtown Space Available

For a more detailed listing with photographs of these properties, please contact Downtown Development Coordinator, Bruce Naegelen at 553-1545 or bnaegelen@townofclaytonnc.org

Retail:
327 E Main 2,400 Sq Ft 524-7349 – New Listing LEASED!
408 E Main Street 1,200 Sq Ft 553-6813 – new listing LEASED!

Office:
106 S. Lombard Street 2,550 Sq Ft 553-5241
442-A E Main Street 2,500 sq ft 669-7542
442-B E Main Street 900 Sq Ft 669-7542

Warehouse Space:
Clayton Spinning Mill 20,000 sq ft 553-1246

Commercial for Sale:
451 E Main Street 1,893 sq ft 550-7355 – New Listing/under contract
459 E Main Street 1,748 sq ft 820-1548 – New Listing

DDA Meets with Town Council & Planning Board

The Clayton Downtown Development Association's regular August 13 meeting was a joint meeting with the Town Council and Planning Board. The purpose was to share some innovative planning and zoning concepts discussed during the keynote presentation at January’s NC Main Street Conference in Morganton, NC. Members of the Town Council, Planning Board, Downtown Development Association and staff attended the presentation and felt there are some concepts that might be considered in Clayton. The keynote speaker was Thomas Hylton, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and chairman of the Pottstown (PA) Planning Commission. He is also the author of the book, Save Our Land, Save Our Towns.” The Pottstown Town Council recently adopted an innovative “user-friendly” zoning ordinance which Hylton wrote. Some follow-up discussion is scheduled on the Town Council Agenda for Monday, August 20. The Town Council meeting begins at 7:30 pm.

SAVE THE DATE: Clayton Branding Forum Planned for Sept 6 at 6:30 pm

Clayton business people, property owners, residents and others with an interest in how Clayton’s image is developed and marketed are invited to the Clayton Branding Forum on Thursday, September 6 at 6:30 pm in the Council Chambers at the Clayton Center. This is a followup to the brainstorming session that occurred several weeks ago in which was led by Ben Muldrow, from Arnett Muldrow Associates.

At the Forum, Mr. Muldrow will share a number of concepts to determine the direction, style and images they will develop. Since this affects the whole town, public participation is encouraged and the end product will be something all businesses and companies will be able to use.

For more information, contact at Downtown Development Coordinator, Bruce Naegelen at bnaegelen@townofclaytonnc.org or 553-1545.

SAVE THE DATE: “Main Street Resource Team” Presentation on August 30

A public presentation on Clayton’s Main Street Program will be held Thursday, August 30 at 6:00 pm in the Council Chambers at The Clayton Center. The presentation will be made by the Main Street Resource Team to share with the community their recommendations to help with revitalization efforts downtown. Clayton was selected as a Main Street Community last fall.

“This next step (in the Main Street process) will determine a large part of our work plan in downtown for the next year and a half,” said Joyce Blackley, Chairperson of the Downtown Development Association. “We’ve done quite a bit already,” she said, “but the Resource Team recommendations will help us focus on the immediately important things.”

Resource Teams are a technique that the National Main Street Center developed to quickly assess a Main Street community's downtown problems and opportunities and to provide a variety of ideas and strategies for its downtown revitalization effort. A Resource Team visit is an intense experience and will occur over a period of three days. The visit involves a large number of local people, a great deal of information is absorbed and synthesized, and it results in a series of concise recommendations presented at a public meeting, which will be held on Thursday, August 30.

Although the members work as a team on a comprehensive strategy, the investigation and presentation follows the four points of the Main Street Approach to downtown revitalization:
• Organization of broad based local leadership;
• The Design of downtown making it attractive to consumers and investors;
• Promotion to revive excitement and rejuvenate activity downtown; and,
• Economic Restructuring to develop a healthy and profitable commercial area.

Downtown Clayton Business News


Downtown Clayton finally has a bakery! Petals & Pastries opened this week at 505 E Main St. Now there is a place in Clayton to get freshly baked pies, pastries, baked breads, cakes, cookies…Owned and baked by Jennifer Freeman, Erica Creech, Amanda Brown and Holy Strickland, they will also provide special orders for birthday cakes and so on. Give them a call at 359-9222 or better yet, stop by and sample!

While Petals & Pastries are on the left side, The Pink Teacup is back in business on the right side at 505 E Main St. Owner Christy Cogar re-opened at this new location in the former offices of Hill & Associates on August 8 and has turned them into a lovely setting for a luncheon tea room. Christy has changed her menu into something a little more “hearty” to attract a more masculine clientele, but still focuses on the tea parties and special occasions. She also provides catering for weddings, showers and corporate events. Stop by for lunch and give her a call at 359-9222.

Stellar Peer Recovery Center opened July 1 at 446 E Main Street. The center is a program of Feed His Church Ministries, of which Dorothy O’Neal is founder and pastor. The site serves people who have substance abuse issues. Stellar Peer Recovery Center is open Monday through Friday from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The number is 553-2554.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Check Out "Little Shop of Horrors" Tonight at Clayton Center


The first production by the Clayton Youth Theater, "Little Shop of Horrors" is just wonderful! We saw it last night at The Clayton Center and highly recommend that if you have the opportunity to attend the production tonight - do it! Founder/Director Nikki Dyke has done an awesome job of assembling a terrific cast of young and even neophyte actors along with seasoned young actors.

The performance starts at 7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00 pm. Tickets are just $10.00. Get them at the box office or online www.theclaytoncenter.com. Help support this ensemble so they may continue!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Joint DDA/Town Council/Planning Board Mtg Monday August 13

The Clayton Downtown Development Association 's regular August 13 meeting will be a joint meeting with the Town Council and Planning Board. The meeting will begin at 5:45 pm in the Council Chambers at The Clayton Center, 111 E Second Street.

The purpose will be to share some innovative planning and zoning concepts discussed during the keynote presentation at January’s NC Main Street Conference in Morganton, NC.Members of the Town Council, Planning Board, Downtown Development Association and staff attended the presentation and felt there are some concepts that might be considered in Clayton.
The keynote speaker was Thomas Hylton, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and chairman of the Pottstown (PA) Planning Commission. He is also the author of the book, Save Our Land, Save Our Towns.” The Pottstown Town Council recently adopted an innovative “user-friendly” zoning ordinance which Hylton wrote.

Helicopter Visit Entertains Children During Library Program


Tuesday morning, about 280 children walked from the Hocutt Ellington Memorial Library to the Town Square to see the NC Highway Patrol helicopter. The visit was part of the Library's summer reading program. The helicopter landed at 9:30 am before the children arrived and departed around 11:45 am after the children left. The pilots said it was a tight landing, but look forward to another visit sometime in the future.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Downtown Clayton Entertainment Calendar

Remember, it is always best to call the venue or contact number for the latest updates!

Friday, August 3
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: The Will McBride Group
GOODTIMES CAFÉ & TAVERN 219 E Second Street, 550-0623:

Saturday, August 4
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Zydecopious
GOODTIMES CAFÉ & TAVERN 219 E Second Street, 550-0623:

Thursday, August 9
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Karaoke
GOODTIMES CAFÉ & TAVERN 219 E Second Street, 550-0623:

Friday, August 10
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: The Amateurs
GOODTIMES CAFÉ & TAVERN 219 E Second Street, 550-0623:

Saturday, August 11
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: Jeff Hart & The Ruins
GOODTIMES CAFÉ & TAVERN 219 E Second Street, 550-0623:

NC Highway Patrol Helicopter to Visit Downtown Clayton August 7

There will be a different kind of visitor to downtown Clayton the morning of August 7. As part of The Hocutt Ellington Memorial Library’s summer program “Get A Clue @ Your Library”, they have invited the NC Highway Patrol to bring their helicopter, a Bell OH-58, to the Town Square.

Several hundred children will be able to get close to the helicopter and talk with the two NC Highway officers who operate it at 10:00 am and 11:00 am.

Children participating in the summer reading program will receive gift bags provided by the Library and Friend's of the Library. The Woman's Club of Clayton will be sponsoring the refreshments.

For more information, call Kristi Lesmann at the Hocutt Ellington Memorial Library, 553-5542.

Pianist Levin to Perform at Clayton Lunch Bunch

The next performance scheduled for the Music for the Lunch Bunch series is this Wednesday, August 1st at 12:15pm at First Baptist Church in Clayton. Jonathan Levin will perform on piano.Jonathan Levin has just completed the four-year Bachelor of Music degree program for classical piano performance at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he studied with Nina Svetlanova. Jonathan is currently studying at the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music pursuing his Masters Degree in piano performance under the tutelage of pianist Jeffrey Biegel.

Jonathan began studying piano at age 8 with Dara Edwards of Clayton, who recommended him to Marilyn Brown, Director of Raleigh Conservatory of Music. Under Mrs. Brown’s mentorship and instruction, Jonathan was privileged to win numerous statewide and national piano competitions. He has been honored to have performed with the Raleigh Symphony, Durham Symphony, and the North Carolina Symphony Orchestras as a high school concerto competition winner.

One of the great highlights of the spring of 2004 was Jonathan’s selection to participate at the historically renowned Steinway Hall in New York City. Last year, he presented a solo recital at the Manhattan School of Music. This season’s concerts have included a recital at Hopper Piano Company, as well as a performance at the Brooklyn Public Library.

The Music for the Lunch Bunch is a series of summer concerts held every Wednesday, at 12:15 pm, featuring local artists performing a variety of music, with particular emphasis on classical music. The concert series is grassroots funded by the Johnston County Arts Council and the North Carolina Arts Council. There is no admission charge but donations are accepted.

Monday, July 23, 2007

”True Spirit” to Bring High Energy Gospel to Clayton Town Square on August 23



True Spirit is a group with a unique style of music which appeals to people from all walks of life. True Spirit was once known as “Kingdoms Heir”. The group was formed in 1989 and the group has recorded three projects, “My Father Rich”, “True Spirit” and their current CD “Revelation Times” which is climbing the Southern Gospel market charts. The group is made up of David Montague, Robert Siler, Glenn Frazier, John Cooper and Terrence Todd Dewberry. Together, they create the kind of music that touches your heart and lifts your spirits. They will be performing at the Concert on the Square on August 23 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.

The free concert is sponsored by the Town of Clayton and Downtown Development Association, with major support from Caterpillar, Novo Nordisk and Clayton News Star. Additional support comes from Avent-Permenter Group, Clayton Glass & Mirror, Hometowne Realty, Hudson’s Hardware, Matthews Motors, Morning Glory Inn and True Line Surveying.

The final Town Square Concert of the series will be “Boys from Carolina Bluegrass Band” on September 20.

The Town Square is in downtown Clayton and sits between Main Street and S. O’Neil and Fayetteville streets. For more information call (919) 553-1545 and for updates check the Downtown Clayton blog at www.downtownclayton.blogspot.com.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Downtown Clayton Events

Friday, July 20
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: The Bill Ely Band http://www.myspace.com/17879047 and
Brothers Grim http://www.myspace.com/brothersgrimraleigh

GOODTIMES CAFÉ & TAVERN 219 E Second Street, 550-0623: Machine Gun

Saturday, July 21
THE FLIPSIDE 408 E Second Street, 553-0123: The Fifty/50 Band

GOODTIMES CAFÉ & TAVERN 219 E Second Street, 550-0623: First Annual Beach Party 2-6 pm featuring “No Dice”

Nantucket Rocks Clayton!



Rock band Nantucket (left) took downtown Clayton by storm with a nearly two-hour performance that was hot, in every sense of the word! The audience of about 750 people was treated to their favorite Nantucket songs, with the loudest cheers when the band launched into their signature song "Heartbreaker".

"Machine Gun" (right) a trio out of Wilmington provided an ideal warmup performance - and they will be playing at Good Times Cafe & Tavern on Main Street tonight.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Clayton Community Cookout - July 14th - Clayton NC


Earth Productions is pleased to announce the return of the Clayton Community Cookout on Saturday July 14th at the FlipSide, located in historic downtown Clayton, North Carolina. This event will feature national and local musicians, local artists displaying their works, and a community environment.

Join us and enjoy the music of Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, Barefoot Manner, Two High String Band, Old Habits, Pickin' Buds, Turbo Pro Project and more TBA for a day of fun, community, and FREE BBQ! It will feel like a big family cookout.

FREE BBQ DINNER!

Thats right Folks! With each paid admission you will receive a FREE BBQ Dinner provided by, everybody's favorite, Lancaster's BBQ will be included in your ticket price! The FREE Dinner will be served from 5:30pm - 8:00pm only, please make note of that.
TICKETS! TICKETS! TICKETS!

Tickets are only $15.00 per person and kids 12 and under are free. Starting June 18th tickets will be available at the Coffee Mill and the FlipSide in Downtown Clayton. You can also purchase tickets ONLINE by clicking HERE. Please contact us at 919.553.6210 or email bob@earthproductions.net if you have ANY questions.

Directions

The Cookout is taking place at 105 S. Lombard Street in Downtown Clayton, North Carolina. Click HERE to view a map. If you need any further help feel free to email me at bob@earthproductions.net.

Please Remember

The Cookout is a non-profit event where 100% of all proceeds go to benefit Johnston County Public Schools. We will allocate the funds to all areas of need within the school sytem. So please bring your family out to have fun and support a good cause! Oh, and PLEASE BRING YOUR LAWN CHAIR!

DONATIONS! WE REALLY NEED DONATIONS!
Folks, this event is for the maintenance, upkeep, and building of new schools! This event is for our Children. If you love this idea but cannot make this event, if you do not like this type of event, or if you have an extra $15.00 lying around that you could donate to a good cause, I URGE you to purchase a ticket anyway! Your ticket purchase will go directly to helping us raise money to give to the SCHOOLS! It's only $15.00 but if we are all able to BOND together and make a donation as a community that $15.00 can go a LONG way!! Just look at your ticket purchase as a donation - and buy one even if you have no plans to attend. We will keep you all posted on what funds we are able to raise and EXACTLY where they are being allocated. This is a work in progress.. something we can all watch grow together and know that it is for the kids. If you need to check the validity of this event, please feel free to contact the Johnston County Schools Superintendent- Dr. Parker - 919.934.6032. We are working directly with the school board to ensure these funds go to the most glaring areas of need. Now we just need your help!

Feel free to contact us at bob@earthproductions.net or 919.553.6210 or if you do the myspace thing: www.myspace.com/claytoncommunitycookout.

STAGE SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED!

# 3:30-4:20 Pickin' Buds

# 4:35-5:25 Old Habits

# 5:35-6:15 TurboPro Project

# 6:30-7:45 Two High String Band

# 8:00-9:30 Larry Keel and Natural Bridge

# 9:40-11:ish Barefoot Manner

REMINDER: BBQ Dinner will be served from 5:30pm-8:00pm ONLY!! It will also be first come first serve! So arrive early.

We look forward to hearing from you. See you there!

Sincerely,

Bob Delong
President - EarthProductions

Larry Keel and Natural Bridge

Barefoot Manner

Two High String Band

Old Habits

Turbo Pro Project

Pickin' Buds

A very special thanks to...



Reward Offered For Teens Charged In Clayton Business Burglaries


A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrests of two teenagers wanted for breaking into Pittman’s Jewelers on East Main Street in Clayton on July 2, where $30,000 in merchandise was stolen. The suspects have also been linked by authorities to a second nearby burglary at Clayton Before & After Care, also on East Main Street . $645 in Playstations and Gameboys were stolen but later recovered, along with some of the stolen jewelry.



Clayton police detectives have obtained warrants for Daniel Clifton Freeman, 19, and Sean Kelly Porter, 18, who are being sought on breaking and entering and larceny charges at both businesses. The teens are also wanted by the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office for obtaining property by false pretenses, for allegedly selling the stolen jewelry to a pawn shop in the Cleveland community. Freeman and Porter were last known to stay at an address on Ackerman Road near Garner. Anyone knowing their whereabouts is asked to contact the Clayton Police Department or their local 9-1-1 center.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Community Branding Brain-Storming Session Scheduled for July 10 at 6:30 pm

Ben Muldrow of Arnett Muldrow & Associates will lead a discussion and brainstorming session to help create a community brand for the Town of Clayton. Arnett Muldrow will develop an overall brand for the community, as well as a distinct and consistent brand for downtown & any other character districts that become apparent during the process. Each brand, logo, and marketing approach will be part of a seamless marketing strategy for the Town of Clayton.

The brand will then be applied to a variety of uses depending on the needs of the community. These will definitely include marketing pieces as well as other potential items such as ad designs, billboards, brochure templates, banners, way-finding signs, gateways, letterhead, business cards, and others as needed by the community.

The community branding is the second phase of a three-pronged project that includes a market analysis, a community branding and a wayfinding and gateway assessment for Clayton.

The session will be held on Tuesday, July 10 at 6:30 pm in the Council Chambers in The Clayton Center at 111 E Second Street. The discussion and brainstorming session will last a couple of hours.

For more information, please contact Bruce Naegelen at (919) 553-1545 or bnaegelen@townofclaytonnc.org

Clayton Market Assessment Presentation Scheduled for July 9

Aaron Arnett of Arnett Muldrow & Associates will make a brief presentation of the results of a market analysis conducted by the firm for the Town of Clayton. The presentation will detail the market analysis findings, initial business and market opportunities and may begin to suggest some strategies for Clayton. The town-wide analysis is the first phase of a three-pronged project that includes the market analysis, a community branding and a wayfinding and gateway assessment for Clayton.

The presentation will be made on Monday, July 9 at 4:00 pm in the Training Room (GS223) in The Clayton Center at 111 E Second Street.

For more information, please contact Bruce Naegelen at (919) 553-1545 or bnaegelen@townofclaytonnc.org

“Downtown Clayton: Vision 2012” Adopted by Town Council

"Downtown has truly become the social and cultural hub of Clayton." That's the summation of the vision statement for downtown Clayton adopted June 18 by the Clayton Town Council and created by 80 residents, business and property owners during a Main Street Vision Forum conducted in late April as part of the NC Main Street Program. During the workshop, the 80-plus participants were divided into groups, which developed lists of downtown Clayton’s strengths and weaknesses and from those lists developed individual and group vision statements. Following the Vision Forum, Clayton’s Downtown Development Association (DDA) members synthesized the twelve statements received from the April 24 Vision Forum and took the best themes and ideas to forge this vision statement.

Clayton Mayor Jody McLeod said, “It was an exciting process to bring these people from all over town together and develop positive visions for downtown.” He added, “The final vision statement really sounds great and is something we can really work with.”

According to DDA Chair, Joyce Blackley, the vision statement contains goals the DDA will pursue through their volunteer committees, and by creating partnerships with the appropriate entities. Mrs. Blackley said that the most popular ideas and thoughts generated during the Vision Forum are reflected in the statement. "Everybody who participated had great ideas and this vision provides realistic and achievable goals over the next five years." she said.

Downtown Clayton Vision: 2012

The new streetscape of Main Street thrives amid a profusion of flowers and plantings, decorative street-crossings, walkways, and interesting buildings. Downtown is well-lit and safe. Overall, Clayton has a clean, uncluttered look, especially since the utility lines were put underground.

Now a diverse business center, Clayton retains its small town charm as it steams toward its progressive future. Trendy restaurants offer sidewalk cafes and entertainment for all tastes. Every storefront is occupied and restored to its original architectural glory accented by attractive landscaping. A variety of shops are open evenings to accommodate the needs of residents and visitors alike. The open-air market provides fresh, local produce and crafts.

Clayton’s growing visual and performing arts community is alive with artists and music. Public art throughout downtown provides beauty and interest. The Clayton Center continues to flourish with live professional and community performances.

Attractive and informative signs welcome residents and visitors to downtown shops and parking. They guide the way to downtown from other Clayton communities.

The visitor's center provides us with maps of historic Clayton and a schedule of events, such as the Harvest Festival and Millstock, for the downtown area. The Clayton History Museum offers an interactive map and walking tour of the historical area and other points of interest.

Downtown has truly become the social and cultural hub of Clayton.


The Clayton Downtown Development Association is a Town Council-appointed board that is charged with the long-term effort to enhance and maintain downtown Clayton’s business and residential neighborhoods. DDA operates under a four-point umbrella, based on the Main Street Program’s “Four-Point” approach to revitalization. The four major elements contribute to a downtown’s total image and the DDA adopted these as standing committees.

Organization Committee – Betsy Grannis, Chair. This committee manages resource needs, develops financial strategies, evaluates public relations needs and drafts plan of work proposals. The type of projects this committee typically oversees includes development of project fundraising plans; developing a newsletter for downtown constituents; solicit sponsorships for specific projects.

Design Committee – Jeme Avent, Chair. This committee deals with what we see. It plays a key role in shaping the physical image of the downtown area as a place attractive to shoppers, investors, business owners and visitors. The committee builds consensus among independent business owners, property owners and civic leaders to adopt a specific approach for physical improvements to buildings, businesses and public areas. The primary activities of the Design Committee are education of committee members and property owners, offering resource assistance, planning and developing design tools for use by downtown interests.

Economic Restructuring Committee – Interim Chair This committee deals with the downtown infrastructure. It helps identify new market opportunities for the traditional commercial district, find new uses for historic commercial buildings and stimulates investment in property. Major activities are collecting information, diversifying the use of downtown, encouraging downtown investment and monitoring the downtown economy.

Promotion Committee – Lyn Austin, Chair. The mission of the Promotion Committee is to let people know about the downtown area and to promote the downtown district as the center of commerce, culture and community life for residents and visitors. Developing and maintaining an image campaign, educating retailers about and encouraging joint retail promotions and special events help carry out the committee's mission.

For more information on Downtown Clayton: Vision 2012 or the DDA, call Joyce Blackley at 553-6813 or email bnaegelen@townofclaytonnc.org

“New Business Guide” Published by Clayton Downtown Development Association

There are numerous steps a prospective business owner must take before starting a new business. Identifying all the licenses, permits, regulations and other approvals required for the planned business is a crucial step to the success of any business. Simply knowing which agencies to contact can be a very confusing task for the new entrepreneur. The Clayton Downtown Development Association is hoping to make that process a little easier to understand with a recently published booklet entitled, “New Business Guide: Tips & Guidance for Starting a New Business in Downtown Clayton.”

Clayton’s Downtown Development Coordinator, Bruce Naegelen said that, “Most of the frustration and confusion of putting a new business together is not knowing how to navigate the regulatory process.” The booklet helps the prospective business owner navigate the regulatory process with resource and contact information. There are even questions to ask yourself and Town planning and inspections staff, such as how is the property zoned?

According to Naegelen, the Town of Clayton really wants to help businesses get started and grow, but many of the regulations, especially building codes, are state-mandated, not local ordinances and the town merely enforces the rules. That’s why, he added, it’s important to do your homework up front and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Copies of the booklet are available at the Small Business Center at the Johnston County Workforce Development Center and the Clayton Area Chamber of Commerce. It will also be available on-line sometime this summer. For more information or for a copy of the booklet, contact Downtown Development Coordinator Bruce Naegelen at 553-1545 or by email at bnaegelen@townofclaytonnc.org.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Let's Try Again! NANTUCKET on July 19!

The legendary rock group “Nantucket” will return to the stage in the next for the Town Square Concert Series on Thursday, July 19. It’s a free, outdoor concert from about 6 pm – 9:00 pm. Special musical guest “Machine Gun” will open the show.

Nantucket was originally scheduled for the April concert, but was rained out. During their career Nantucket shared the stage with AC/DC, Kiss, Charlie Daniels, Molly Hatchet, Black Oak Arkansas, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Humble Pie, Cheap Trick, Jimmy Buffett, Ted Nugent, Elton John and many more. Nantucket has issued five albums from 1978 to 1984 and songs like “Heartbreaker,” “Born in a Honky Tonk” and “Timebomb” are sure to evoke youthful memories for many. All but one of the original band members are still together: Larry Uzzell, Tommy Redd, Eddie Blair, Mike Uzzell and Mark Downing continue to play the music that made them famous.

The free concert is sponsored by the Town of Clayton and Downtown Development Association, with major support from Caterpillar, NovoNordisk, Time Warner Cable and Clayton News Star. Additional support comes from Avent-Permenter Group, Clayton Glass & Mirror, Hometowne Realty, Hudson’s Hardware, Matthews Motors, McLaurin Funeral Home, Morning Glory Inn, and Trueline Surveying.

The rest of the Town Square Concert Series includes “True Spirit” gospel band on August 23 and “Boys From Carolina Bluegrass Band on September 20.

The Town Square is in downtown Clayton and sits between Main Street and S. O’Neil and Fayetteville streets. For more information call (919) 553-1545 and for updates check the Downtown Clayton blog at www.downtownclayton.blogspot.com.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Triangle Brass Band at Tonight's Concert on the Square


Don't forget to come out to Clayton's Town Square Concert tonight at 6 pm featuring the Triangle Brass Band beginning at 6 pm. It's a beautiful day - bring chairs, blankets and the kids!

Hunger Pains will be selling hot dogs, hamburgers, smoothies and soft drinks; The Clayton Historical Association will be selling homemade ice cream, and for the first time, the Downtown Development Association will be selling beer and wine.

The free concert is sponsored by the Town of Clayton and Downtown Development Association, with major support from:

Caterpillar

NovoNordisk

Time Warner Cable

Clayton News Star



Additional support comes from:

Avent-Permenter Group

Clayton Glass & Mirror

Hometowne Realty

Hudson’s Hardware

Matthews Motors

McLaurin Funeral Home

Morning Glory Inn

Trueline Surveying


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

For more information send an email to bnaegelen@townofclaytonnc.org

Monday, June 04, 2007

Notes From Millstock Music & Arts Faire 2007





Here's a note from Millstock founders Cliff & Jodi at The Coffee Mill and the Flipside: "Millstock 2007 turned out to be one of the best yet!! The weather was as good as you could ask for (can you believe the rain held off until right at the end of Kennebec's set...way cool!). The art in the street was way cool....the music was top notch!!! (Paul Barton did an amazing job with the sound...again, this year!)

Thanks to Richard Koobs for the artwork for the 7th Annual Millstock logo, poster and t-shirts! He continues to amaze us! Speaking of t-shirts, we're going to place another order early next week, so if you we ran out of your size, color, or design (tie-dye...) then you are still in luck. Get your order info to us by the end of this week and we'll get you one...or two, etc. (919)550-0174

We want to thank all of the sponsors that contributed something this year, be it bucks, or signage, or promotion. Sponsors include:
Clayton Visual Arts
Clayton Downtown Development Association
Johnston County Arts Council
NC Arts Council
Johnston County Tourism Authority
Matthews Motors
Four Oaks Bank
Fortrex Wire & Cable
Crescent State Bank
BB&T

Please support the Arts and our local businesses. A community's identity is defined by it's support of the arts and local, independently owned businesses! Just what kind of an identity do YOU want? Think about it...

A special thanks goes out to Rambo, Tim, Catharine, Bob, Brian, Dan, Hank, Jack, Zac, Brooke, ET, Nick, Hunter, Daniel, and to Tracy and Sir Ed for all the sweat equity they invested to keep Millstock alive! Thank you!

And a very special thanks goes out to all of you that came and enjoyed!

7th Annual Millstock A Celebration of Music & Art

Thank You!

More Millstock images will be posted soon!!