Monday, December 29, 2008

"Miss Catastrophe" Pageant Jan 3 - Kiwanis Fundraiser

Miss Catastrophe 2008 will be held this Saturday - January 3, 2008 at the Clayton Center beginning at 7:00 p.m.

This is a Kiwanis Club fundraising event and if last year's pageant is any indication, this promises to be an evening FILLED with laughter and fun!

Tickets are only $10.00 each and are available from any Kiwanis member and also available at the Clayton Chamber office.

Clayton Arts Colony - N&O Editorial

Clayton is starting to get some recognition in the arts! Check this editorial in today's News & Observer.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

From The Flipside

Don't forget the Fresh, locally Roasted Coffee for Christmas!

Not Only Do You Want to make sure you have some on hand for Christmas morning, but it also makes a great gift.

Open Mic Tonight - (Tuesday)Hosted by Tracy Wiebeck Everyone is Welcome!

Flipside will be Closed this Wednesday & Thursday for Christmas

The Coffee Mill will be opened Wednesday, Closed Christmas Day

Friday - Josh Pepper will be performing

Saturday - get your dancing shoes on for Blue Marble Beat

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Caterpillar confirms temporary layoffs

From News 14:

Caterpillar, one of Johnston County’s top ten employers, confirmed Thursday that the company temporarily laid off employees at both its Clayton plant in Johnston County and the Sanford plant in Lee County.

Caterpillar officials said the temporary layoffs were made in the Building Construction Products division. More

Clayton Readies For The Impact Of Caterpillar’s Layoffs

From NBC-17:

As one of Clayton’s biggest employers, the layoffs at Caterpillar will have quite an impact on the community; from its downtown to its neighborhoods.

Glen's Barbershop does more than sit on Clayton’s main street. It's the main meeting spot for a lot of folks. More

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Amanda's Hairbraiding Opens in Downtown Clayton

Hair braiding is an ancient art, handed down from generation to generation in Africa. The origins of the art form can be traced back to Egypt as far as 3500 BCE. In many West African countries, hair braiding developed into complex patterns signaling one's social status, age group and village affiliation. Certain elaborate hair treatments were reserved for ceremonial occasions such as weddings.

Now, Amanda Somadjagbi has brought this stylish art to downtown Clayton with Amanda’s Hairbraiding at 316 E Main Street, above the former Main Steak Restaurant. Amanda is a professional, licensed braider with six years experience. Amanda offers 21 different types of braiding, the newest style of which is a Tree Braid. She also has a salon in Cary.

Amanda is from the West African country of Benin, which is between Ghana and Nigeria, but moved to North Carolina several years ago with her husband and son. They now reside in Clayton.

For more information, or to make an appointment, call Amanda at (919) 386-0557.

Locally Grown & Organic Foods Hit Their Stride

There is a national shift in awareness of food sources and practices, primarily toward local and organic foods. The National Restaurant Association keeps track of these shifts or trends and has recently completed a survey: Chef's Survey: What's Hot in 2009. It appears Lee's Produce, 401 W Main Street and the upcoming Clayton Farm & Community Market are well-positioned to take advantage of the need for local and organic produce.

Community Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

This year Greater Heights UMC will host a Community Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 7 PM in front of the big Christmas tree at the Town Square in downtown Clayton (Main St).

The service will include Christmas hymns and the telling of the Christmas story.

The service will be held rain, shine, or snow!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


December 17th, Wednesday – Santa Claus – Chamber – 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Santa Claus will visit with all the good little boys and girls. Come and visit and have your photo taken with Santa. There is no charge for a Santa Photo.

For more info call the Clayton Chamber of Commerce at 553-6352.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

DDA Welcomes New Board

There will be some new faces on the Clayton Downtown Development Association board beginning January 1, 2009. The Town Council appointed three new members at their December 1 meeting to fill two outgoing members’ seats and one vacant position.

Michael Sims is a retired Marine who now works with Pepsi as a Key Account Manager. He has lived in Clayton 8 years and was a force in starting the 2nd Street Center/Kids Café Program. He is also a member of the Clayton Rotary Club. He brings marketing and business experience to the board.

Boo Carver works for First Citizens Bank and has served on a downtown board in another town several years ago. She has lived in Clayton 4 years. Boo also serves on the Johnston County Arts Council and belongs to the Woman’s Club of Clayton. She will bring a fresh perspective to the DDA.

Richard Rairigh is the Senior Program Manager for Be Active North Carolina, Inc. He and his family have lived in Clayton 5 years and brings a strong background in planning and assessment to the board.

The DDA elected Ed Knight to serve as Chairman and re-elected Jeme Avent, VP-Design; Leslie Hubbard, VP-Economic Restructuring; Betsy Grannis, VP-Organization and Lyn Austin, VP-Promotion. Beth Williams will remain Secretary until the January meeting when a new Secretary will be selected. Michael Houser and Elton Pittman continue their terms.

The DDA meets on the second Monday of each month at 6:30 pm at The Clayton Center in Room GS223. DDA meetings are open to the public.

For more information about the Downtown Development Association, visit the Town of Clayton website at and click on Downtown under Business.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Clayton Center Mural Dedication Jan. 5

A reception to officially dedicate the Clayton Center's new mural, to be called "Clayton Patchwork," has been scheduled for Jan. 5 at 6 pm.

The event will also honor local artist Dorothy Demboski, who put the last few dabs of paint on the wall a few weeks ago, giving the Center a permanent 10-foot by 10-foot mural featuring icons from around town.

"This is a beautiful work of art," said Mayor Jody McLeod. "I invite everyone in town to come and see it."

Demboski, an artist for more than 40 years, has been working on the mural since back in the summer, chatting with visitors who stopped to watch her work and becoming something of a fixture at Town Hall in the process.

"Things like this are a labor of love, and I've sure loved it, especially the people who have come to watch and talk with me," she said. "It's been fun. The people at Town Hall are going to miss me."

A smaller version of the mural has been part of two recent exhibitions at the Center.

Town leaders worked with Clayton Visual Arts to raise $10,000 for the project. The town is covering $4,000 of the cost.

The idea for a mural got its start when town employees noticed Demboski's painting at a recent exhibition. “That piece struck us,” said Town Manager Steve Biggs.

Demboski has won many awards for her work over the years. She has a BFA Degree from Carnegie Mellon University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She has also taught at the Art Institute of Chicago and at Carnegie Mellon.

For more information, please contact Clayton Center Executive Director Heidi Stump at 553-3152.

2008 Downtown Residential Decoration Contest Winners

The 2008 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 were driven through downtown’s residential neighborhoods on the evening of December 10. Winners and Honorable Mentions each received a certificate.

DDA Chair Joyce Blackley said that, “We are trying to build downtown Clayton as a “Decoration Destination” for people to visit when they’re out looking at holiday decorations.” She added, “We hope the contest helps to develop that kind of spirit in our downtown residents.”

The Contest Results with comments from the judges:

323 Page Street – Lot’s of small details add up to the overall appeal. For example, lighted balls with live garland and ribbon.

307 S. Lombard Street - Pretty as a postcard

Honorable Mention
461 E Second Street
510 Hamby Street

614 N. O’Neil Street – Merry and bright with music to boot

Honorable Mention
237 Georgetown Drive – look for the elf ladder
212 Central Street – Interesting lights and lit objects

304 – 339 S Lombard Street

Honorable Mention
210 – 301 Hardee Street

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pay Library Fines With Canned Goods

As a way to help out the food bank at Clayton Area Ministries during the holiday season, the Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library downtown is asking residents with library fines to pay with food instead of money.

The Library is asking for one can or box of food for each dollar owed, said Senior Library Associate Debbie Ragland. The Library will be losing a little money and patrons may be giving a little extra for the fines, but this way "everybody's giving a little something" to help those in need, she said.

"We hope this helps us make a difference," Ragland said.

The food drive begins Wednesday and lasts a week, until Wednesday, Dec. 17.

It's a great way to pay off your Library fines, she said. Ragland said the Library would be happy to accept food from those who don't owe fines, too.


Clayton Visual Arts seeks area artists for its 2009-2010 season of solo/duo exhibitions. Art work will hang for a scheduled one month period in The Clayton Center Lobby, 111 E. Second Street, Clayton, NC. Submit resume and a portfolio of work in the form of snapshots, CD or web page reference to: Clayton Visual Arts, Exhibits Committee, PO Box 698, Clayton, NC 27528. Questions, call 919-333-5505 or 919-553-1242. Email inquiries can be sent to: Deadline: February 16, 2009

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Clayton Resident Selected as Artist For White House Ornament

Clayton artist Cheryl Micaela McCardle has been selected by Congressman Bob Etheridge to create an ornament for the White House Christmas tree and represent the 2nd District of North Carolina.

McCardle and her husband, Van attended a reception for the artists at the White House on December 2, 2008 where she was able to view her ornament on the tree located in the blue room in the East Wing of the White House.

McCardle spent many hours sketching designs. The artist chose to illustrate scenes from the Mountains to Sea Trail, stating “North Carolina is an amazing state that has something for everyone. This theme illustrates all of the wonders of the state.” The ornament features images of North Carolina mountains with Carolina pines flowing into a Piedmont field and tobacco barn, and finally resting upon the image of red brick Currituck lighthouse.

A painter and sculptor, McCardle received a Bachelor's degree in Studio Arts from George Mason University in Virginia, with a focus in painting. The artist’s painting subjects have evolved from traditional landscapes into a contemporary abstract style. Her art has been exhibited in Raleigh and the surrounding areas. States McCardle, “I’m always anxious to learn and experience new things about art. My education continues to expand through drawing, painting and sculpture classes. I feel that art should be an ongoing process, never stagnant.”

Cheryl and her husband Van currently reside in Clayton. Involvement in community programs has been an important part of McCardle’s life. She is a member of Raleigh's Visual Art Exchange, and has worked with the Johnstonian Visual Artists, Clayton Visual Arts and served as Secretary to the Johnston County Arts Council. McCardle actively participates in local events and works to bring arts' awareness to the community by teaching art and creativity classes in the local area.

Downtown Issues on Town Council Agenda

The December 15 Clayton Town Council Agenda has been posted and issues of interest to downtown are a presentation and follow-up request by the Clayton Farm and Community Market to use public space for the 2009 season and a presentation of a staff report on the status of a design agreement for the public art element for the property at Main & Lombard streets.

The Town Council meets at 7:30 pm in the Council Chambers at The Clayton Center, 111 E Second Street.

2008 Clayton Christmas Parade

The holiday spirit comes to downtown Clayton Saturday, December 13th, with the 2008 Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Clayton Area Chamber of Commerce. The Parade, which begins at 3 PM on Main Street, will feature floats, local marching bands, area businesses, civic and church organizations, and a visit from Santa Claus ! ! ! !

For more information, call 553-6352 or e-mail

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

DDA Elects New Chairman

Clayton’s Downtown Development Association has a new chairperson. Ed Knight, who has served on the DDA since 2004, was elected Monday night to succeed outgoing chair, Joyce Blackley. Mr. Knight is a retired telecommunications executive and, with his wife Veda, has lived in Clayton for 8 years.

Mr. Knight said he is looking forward to the challenge of leading the DDA. He said, “The past few years have been very active and Mrs. Blackley set a particularly high bar. We have a good board with some new members bringing new perspectives to the mix.” He added, “The committees, business and property owners will be busy, but I am very excited and optimistic about the future of downtown Clayton.”

The DDA also re-elected Jeme Avent, VP-Design; Leslie Hubbard, VP-Economic Restructuring; Betsy Grannis, VP-Organization and Lyn Austin, VP-Promotion. Beth Williams will remain Secretary until the January meeting when a new Secretary will be selected.

The Town Council on December 1st appointed several new members to the DDA, Richard Rairigh, Michael Sims and Boo Carver will begin their terms January 1, 2009.

Monday, December 08, 2008

From the Flipside!

Food & Drink Specials
Open 6:00pm

Every morning in The Coffee Mill
6:00 to 8:00am
Medium Brew Coffee plus a toasted Bagel ONLY $3.00

Wednesday is COFFEE BREAK DAY in The Coffee Mill
Buy a Pound of great, fresh, locally roasted Larry's Beans
and receive a Medium Brew Coffee FREE

Need a Gift idea with about a fantastic gift basket from
The Coffee Mill

The FlipSide
Order your catering and receive a 10% discount
We still have some dates available for private parties
Give us a call and let's plan a great party!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Doggie Christmas Costume Contest Winners!

There were about 28 entries in the Second Annual Doggie Costume Contest, hosted by Doggie Do’z, 113 E First Street. Owner Amy Hallinan said, “Everything went really well and everyone had great things to say about it again. The competition was very heated this year. We couldn't believe how creative everyone was!” Amy described the winners:

First Place - Buzz, a Welsh Terrier. He's owned by Sarah Hale and he took third last year. He was a fully decorated and lit Christmas tree, complete with tree skirt and gifts. Sarah made it all by hand and it was awesome.

Second place - Tooker, a Chihuahua, owned by Brenda Light. He was a reindeer pulling a big Santa sleigh filled with toys. The sleigh was about five times bigger than he was, but he pulled it like a trooper.

Third place - Nugget, another Chihuahua, owned by Melanie Ford. He took second place last year. He wore a green sweater wrapped all up in pine garland, complete with blue lights.

The judges were Ian Hallinan and Marty Young, of 94.7 WQDR.

Most Creative - Awards & Engravables, 327 E Main Street

The storefront decorations feature elves working on the engraving of plaques in both windows!

Most Traditional - ABC Plumbing Co., 220 E Main Street

Best Overall - North Carolina Paper Company, 114 W Main Street

Best Overall – North Carolina Paper Company, 114 W Main Street
Five decorated windows facing W Main Street and O’Neil Street. Each window, decorated by the employees, portrays a different theme of the Christmas season.

photos by Robert Yarborough

Downtown Clayton Storefront Decorating Contest Winners

One of the main goals of the Storefront Decorating Contest is make downtown Clayton a “Christmas Decoration Destination” where people from all over will visit downtown and look at the decorations in all the storefronts and be amazed! Judges for the Downtown Storefront Decorating Contest were from out-of-town and their identities remain anonymous. The winners are:

Best Overall – North Carolina Paper Company, 114 W Main Street
Five decorated windows facing W Main Street and O’Neil Street. Each window, decorated by the employees, portrays a different theme of the Christmas season.

Most Traditional – ABC Plumbing Company, 220 E Main Street
Honorable Mention, Hometowne Realty, 338 E Main Street

Most Creative – Awards & Engravables, 327 E Main Street
The storefront decorations feature elves working on the engraving of plaques!
Honorable Mention – Cider House Studio, 336 E Main Street

Grinch Award – Glen’s Barber Shop, 233 E Main Street
Just a note about the “Grinch Award” – Judging was held on Tuesday night and owner Brian Brown was working with contractors to make some façade improvements, but he had no decorations in the windows! Brian was a great sport and received a special Grinch certificate! The new paint looks good, too!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Clayton Christmas Village & Tree Lighting a Huge Success!

Last night's Christmas Village & Tree Lighting in downtown Clayton was pretty amazing. An estimated 3000-3200 people were in attendance, with businesses saying there were noticeably more people than last year's 2500. More postings and pictures in the next few days!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Clutter can cost shops customers

Disabilities make getting around hard enough; holidays pose higher hurdles

by Thomas Goldsmith, News & Observer Staff Writer

The busier the holiday season, the more difficult shopping can become for people with disabilities.

The reason: Businesses hungry to sell their best holiday wares can create an unintended obstacle course for the disabled, potentially losing chunks of this lucrative market.


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Mulberry on Main Brings Horse & Carriage Rides to Downtown Clayton

Beginning on Friday December 5, 2008 and every Thursday, Friday and Saturday before Christmas Mulberry on Main Italian Restaurant will be helping you to celebrate the Holidays the old fashioned way. Enjoy a leisurely horse and carriage ride through downtown Clayton after your dinner with us. Details available at Mulberry on Main. Buono Natale!

Map of Christmas Village & Tree Lighting Events

Monday, December 01, 2008

2008 Christmas Village & Tree Lighting - December 4

From the Flipside...

Monday Night Football
Domestic Bottle Beer $1.75

Open Mic with J.B. & Jason

Karaoke with KJ Ray

Johnny Orr & SouthStation

The Oatmeal Conspiracy

The Coffee Mill
Each Morning 6:00 to 8:00am
Medium brewed coffee + a bagel = $3.00

Wednesdays: Coffee Break Day
Buy a Pound of Coffee receive a medium brew coffee FREE!

Order a great gift basket from The Coffee Mill
A Perfect Gift for The Holidays