Monday, November 30, 2009

From the Flipside...

Tuesday is Open Mic with JB & Jason hosting.
Everyone is welcome.
Tuesdays and Wednesday
5:00 to 6:30
!!!Early Bird Special!!!
15% off any Entree' (including dinner features)
Dine In Only
Wednesdays - 1/2 price wine by the glass night!


Friday Saturday
Mister Mustard Left on Franklin

December 11th: Dread34 with Blue Marble Beat opening

Party with us on New Year's Eve - Johnny Orr & SouthStation
Schedule that cartered event now. A small gathering to a large reception, we can provide you with a complete package.
Give us a call: 553-0123


In December, NC’s first state icon and renowned pianist, Jimmy Aycock adds The Clayton Center to his list of venues.

Jimmy Aycock will perform a Christmas Concert entitled Snow Tunes and Show Tunes at The Clayton Center on Sunday, December 6th, at 4:00 p.m. This concert benefits the Clayton Historical Association.

Mr. Aycock has had a notable career as an educator in the North Carolina public school system (including Johnston County) that spans 40 years, touching the lives of over 40,000 students with music. His career as a pianist and composer spans an impressive 50 years. Jimmy Aycock’s lifelong commitment to music and education was rewarded when he achieved the honor of becoming North Carolina’s first state icon.

Mr. Aycock and his band will be joined in this concert with a special appearance by the Piney Grove Missionary Church Youth Choir.

Tickets for the December 6th Aycock concert are $10 (General Admission), plus service fees. Tickets are available at The Clayton Center Box Office(located at 111 E. Second Street in downtown Clayton), by phone at 919-553-1737, and online at

Proceeds from this event benefit the Clayton Historical Association (CHA). The mission of the CHA is to preserve and share the history of Clayton and to recognize and preserve the historic properties of Clayton, North Carolina. The Clayton Historical Association is funded in part by the Town of Clayton Cultural Arts Fund. For more information, contact

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Village & Tree Lighting UPDATE #1 - Traffic Detour

The Clayton Christmas Village & Tree Lighting is this Thursday, December 3 with activities starting at 6:00 PM. The Tree Lighting ceremony will begin at 8:15 pm at Town Square and the tree will be lit at 8:30 pm sharp!

E Main Street will be closed on December 3 from 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm from Smith Street to N O'Neil Street. Traffic will be detoured around downtown via Smith Street from the east and S. O'Neil Street from the west.

From West Main Street: Traffic will be routed south on S O'Neil Street to W Horne Street and right onto S Fayetteville Street to Hamby Street; Left onto S Lombard Street and right onto E Second Street to the end at E Main Street.

From US 70/East Main Street: Traffic will be routed to Smith Street and left onto S Lombard Street to Hamby Street; From Hamby Street right onto S Fayetteville Street, left onto W Horne Street and right onto S O'Neil Street with a left onto W Main Street or straight onto N O'Neil Street.

Please note that E Second Street from Lombard to Fayetteville will be open only to local traffic due to water/sewer improvements.

Any vehicles parked on E Main Street (from Smith Street to O'Neil Street) after the 5:30 pm road closure will be towed.

Handicapped Parking will be available at the Town Square via the O'Neil Street entrance

As with most special events, parking can be difficult to find adjacent to the event, so please plan to walk several blocks. However, here are some additional areas to try:

E First Street from O'Neil Street to Church Street
E Front Street from O'Neil Street to Fayetteville Street

Friday, November 27, 2009

Lee's Produce Has Christmas Trees & Santa Visits!

Lee's Produce at 401 W Main Street has the best selection and the most Christmas trees in Clayton! Prices start in the low $30 range and there is a $5 off coupon in the Clayton News Star. Lee's Produce also has Hot cider, cooked collards, candy and shelled pecans. They are open Monday-Friday form 8:00 am - 8:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am - 7:00 pm.

Santa Claus will visit Lee's Produce on Saturday, November 28 from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm and Saturday, December 5 from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm.

Lee's Produce - also offers local dairy products and produce. 550-8425

And check out their new sleigh!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Think Clayton Think Downtown on Black Friday and Beyond!

Shop downtown at locally owned and operated businesses this holiday season and support the local economy and community! Here are a few:

Fancy That Gift Boutique
120 East Main Street
(919) 550-2946

Fancy That Gifts & More is open from 6 AM to 6 PM on Black Friday. They will be giving away free gifts for the first 20 customers! We will also be serving muffins and mimosas, and coffee, in the morning! There will be great deals all day but extra super specials from 6 AM to 8 AM!

(photo: some early morning customers!)

Primal Elements holiday soaps are now in! Fancy That just received a new shipment of quilted make-up bags, duffle bags, and lunch totes! Pouchees (purse organizers) should be in by Friday! If you have not already purchased your Elf on the Shelf, get them while they last! Once they sell out of what is in stock, there is a wait-list to get more! More everyday gifts will also be arriving over the next few weeks!

Upcoming Dates: For your holiday shopping convenience, during the month of December Fancy That will be open until 8 pm every Thursday and Friday and from 1 pm to 5 pm on Sundays.

December 3rd- Clayton downtown tree lighting
December 3rd - 5th- Christmas Shoppe

Fancy That offers custom gift baskets, holiday wrapping and local delivery!

Purses Unlimited Inc.
420 E Main Street

Receive a coupon for $10.00 off any purchase of $55.00 or more on FRIDAY ONLY! $5.00 off any purchase of $35.00 through Christmas.

Lee's Produce
401 W Main Street

A great variety of the Best Christmas Trees in the state as well as local produce and much more.

Elmore Furniture
225 E Main Street
(919) 553-6294

Sealy Mattress Sale Two Weeks Only!
Holiday Home Sale - Best Home Furnishings

Awards and Engravables, Inc
327 E. Main Street

F: (919)553-1712

Awards and Engravables will be collecting nonperishable food items for Clayton Area Ministries. Items can be dropped off at the store from 9:30am - 5:30pm Monday through Friday and they will be delivered. This is from now until December 23!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2009 Clayton Christmas Village & Tree Lighting Schedule

Here's the schedule of events and activities for the Tree Lighting on December 3. Be sure to check back for updates!

Schedule of Performances/Activities

6:00 pm Business Open House Begins Downtown
6:00 pm Doggie Costume Contest at Doggie Do’z, 113 E First St
6:00 pm Live Nativity at Fancy That!, 120 E Main St
6:15 pm Doggie Parade up Main Street To Cider House Studio, 436 E Main St
6:15 pm Lipscomb Day Care Chorus at Main Street Stage
6:20 pm Awarding of Doggie Costume Prizes at Cider House Studio, 436 E Main St
6:30 pm River Dell Elementary Chorus at Main Street Stage
6:30 pm Horne UMC Handbells and Choir at Blackley’s Printing, 229 E Main St
6:30 pm Scott McCreery, Clayton Idol Winner at Chamber of Commerce Steps, 301 E Main St
6:45 pm Riverwood Elementary Chorus at Main Street Stage
7:00 pm West Clayton Elementary Chorus at Main Street Stage
7:15 pm Cooper Elementary Chorus at Main Street Stage
7:30 pm Turning Point Dance Studio at Main Street Stage
7:30 pm Clayton Middle School Jazz Band at Town Square
7:35 pm Youth Choir New Trinity MBC at Main Street Stage
7:50 pm Clayton School of Dance at Main Street Stage
8:00 pm Clayton High Marching Band marches to Town Square for Tree Lighting!
• DDA Chair Edward Knight - Welcome & Introductions at Town Square Stage
• Welcome from Mayor Jody McLeod and NBC-17 News Anchor Melanie Sanders Welcome
• Storefront Decoration Winners
• Clayton High School Chorus
8:30 pm Christmas Tree Lighting

Entertainment and events will be provided throughout the evening at various locations:

• Doggie Costume Pet Parade begins at 6:00 pm at Doggie Do'z 113 E First St. (553-5959 for more info)
• Pet photos with “Santa Paws” from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at Cider House Studio (436 E Main St) $5 donation to benefit the Johnston County Animal Protection League. (Sponsored by Robinson Animal Hospital)
• Clayton Historical Association will provide holiday refreshments at 307 E Main St. (Clayton Steakhouse)
• Clayton Visual Arts will feature their Annual Wee-Masterpiece Ornament Exhibit & Sale inside the Chamber of Commerce (301 E Main St.)

From The Flipside...

Lunch Specials

Tortilla Soup (yum yum...really delicious!)
$5.00 Stimulus Burgers (while supplies last...)
Grilled Chicken Parmesan on a ciabatta roll with your choice of a side.

Dinner Features

3 Cheese Mac and Cheese baked with ham and peas...cheddar, mozzarella and pepper jack with bread and a side salad
Grilled Center Cut Sirloin Steak with hierloom potatoes and fresh vegetables with bread
Tuesdays and Wednesday
5:00 to 6:30
!!!Early Bird Special!!!
15% off any Entree' (including the above dinner features)
Dine In Only
Wednesdays - 1/2 price wine by the glass night!
Don't forget to pick up some freshly roasted (locally), organically grown...fair trade coffee from us!
Thanksgiving is not complete without a great cup of coffee.
Tuesday Night: Open Mic with Tracy Wiebeck hosting.
Great Fun all around...come and join in...bring an instrument

This Saturday - Thundern' Blues
December 9th - Trivia Night
December 11th - Dread34

Schedule that cartered event now. A small gathering to a large reception, we can provide you with a complete package.
Give us a call: 553-0123

Princeton turkey to get presidential pardon ::

Princeton turkey to get presidential pardon ::

Friday, November 20, 2009

“Christmas Village & Tree Lighting” Planned for Downtown Clayton on December 3

On December 3, just a week after Thanksgiving, downtown Clayton will be transformed into a Christmas Village with decorated storefronts, holiday shopping and a merry attitude!

This is the third year that Clayton’s Main Street will close for 2-1/2 hours of music, holiday cheer, business open house and the traditional tree lighting on the Town Square. “Christmas Village & Tree Lighting” will be from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm on December 3, organized by the Promotion Committee of the Clayton Downtown Development Association (CDDA).

The Tree Lighting ceremony will end at 8:30 pm this year due to comments from the public. “The event ended a little later last year so people would have more time to arrive and enjoy the festivities,” according to CDDA President Ed Knight. “But the overwhelming sentiment was that it was just too long, so we’re returning to an earlier close so the young children can enjoy the event before bedtime.”

Dance and choral performances by local students, local churches and others, the live nativity as well as the Tree Lighting ceremony are the main focus of the event. But, Mr. Knight noted, “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.” All of the downtown restaurants will be open that night.

Clayton Mayor Jody McLeod will be the Master of Ceremonies and he will be accompanied by celebrity MC, Melanie Sanders, evening news anchor at NBC 17, who will stroll through downtown with the mayor prior to the Tree Lighting ceremony.

Another celebrity guest, Santa Claus, will be in downtown Clayton all night and will eventually make his way to the Town Square in a horse-drawn carriage for the Tree Lighting!

Dance and choral performances by local students, local churches and others, the live nativity as well as the Tree Lighting ceremony are the main focus of the event. But, Mr. Knight noted, “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.” All of the downtown restaurants will be open that night.

Clayton Mayor Jody McLeod will be the Master of Ceremonies and he will be accompanied by celebrity MC, Melanie Sanders, evening news anchor at NBC 17, who will stroll through downtown with the mayor prior to the Tree Lighting ceremony.

Another celebrity guest, Santa Claus, will be in downtown Clayton all night and will eventually make his way to the Town Square in a horse-drawn carriage for the Tree Lighting!

The Clayton High School Players Proudly Present Guys and Dolls

Relive the magic of the streets of New York City as the Damon Runyon classic Guys and Dolls takes the stage this weekend November 19, 20 and 21, 2009 at the Clayton High School Auditorium.

Nearly 60 years after the original musical production appeared on Broadway, this inspiring and timeless story will be performed for you right here in Clayton.

It’s not just a feel-good story, either – it’s a feel good night. Those who purchase tickets are asked to join the mission to support local food pantries by bringing your canned goods to any of the performances.

Come out and see how these kids have poured their hearts into creating a special and entertaining performance for the community.


Adults: $10

Clayton High School Students and Children 12 and under: $6

Don’t wait to get your tickets – seating is limited.

You can get your tickets in the school office.

Local Authors, Illustrators at Library Saturday

This Saturday, Nov. 21 is "Local Authors and Illustrators Day" at the Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library featuring five authors and two illustrators who will be signing books and meeting the public.

All seven--who between them have an impressive collection of children's books, novels and non-fiction--are from Clayton or surrounding communities.

"I really didn't realize how many authors and illustrators we have in the area," said Historian Pam Baumgartner. "We expect that each one of them will bring in different people, so we hope to have a crowd."

The authors are: Lisa Pelton, Jodi Grubbs, Judith Hoffman and Evelyn Lemar. The illustrators are: Dale Hardin and Rebecca Anne Honeycutt

The event is scheduled for 10 am to 2 pm.

The Library usually has events of this type in conjunction with their semi-annual book sale but decided earlier this year to split them into two events.

For more information, please give the Library a call at 919-553-5542.

Right Angles Custom Framing & Art

Right Angles Custom Framing and Art
401 E. Main St.
Clayton, NC 27520
Janet Lowry owner
Kelly Ryder side kick

Locally owned and operated,custom picture framing, glass replacement, mats cut on site ready made frames in standard sizing(8x10, 11x14), Italian inlaid wood frames

Tom Gallo sports prints, military/vet prints, photography prints

Original art: Gail O'Neil, Jani Prete, Janna Williams

NC pottery: Lori Anderson
also, jewelry, raku pottery ornaments, mobiles by Linda Adams, hand made scarves, beautiful hand made tables, clocks

you name it...we probably have it!

closed Mon
Tues: 10-7
Wed-Fri.: 10-6
Sat: 10-1
or call for an appointment

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fancy That! Holiday Open House this Saturday & Sunday

Please join us for our Holiday Open House for specials, refreshments and free gift with purchase of $50 or more!

THIS Saturday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Another important event to mark on your calendar is November 27th, Black Friday! Fancy That will be open from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM!!!!!!! We will be serving muffins and mimosas for the early birds, and of course coffee!

And yet another date to remember- Thursday, December 3rd will be Clayton's Third Annual Christmas Village and Tree Lighting starting at 6:00 PM with downtown business open house, storefront decorating contest, visit from Santa Claus, live nativity scene, doggie costume contest, live music and ending with a community tree lighting on the square at 8:30 PM.

Also, check out the attachment for information on the Holiday Shoppe featuring works by Jana Williams and Jan Homestead!! (December 3rd-5th)

Remember that Fancy That offers a large assortment of gift ideas, ornaments and decor along with free gift wrapping and personal shopping help. Don't forget to come fill out your wish list to get what you want for the holiday season or any other upcoming events! The wish list is also great for long-distance family and friends as they can call and pick something out for you from your list, pay by phone, and we will wrap it up and deliver or ship it! We are also offering a gift wrapping service this holiday season. For a fee, you can bring in any gift from anywhere (other than DeWaynes ) and we will wrap it up special for you! In most cases, we ask that you leave your items to be gift wrapped and picked up at a later time as it is a busy season for us.

Elf on the Shelf, along with Elf Activity Book and Elf Skirt, are due in by Thursday in time for this weekend's Open House!

For the UNC fan in your life, we have Roy Williams book "Hard Work: A Life On and Off the Court." Make sure you come get one for a great holiday gift!

Also on the way are Primal Elements holiday soaps!! If you have not tried this soap yet, you are missing out!

Hope to see you all this weekend!!!!

ps. Milo will be dressed up for the holidays and he would love to see you!!

Fancy That Gift Boutique
120 East Main Street
Clayton, NC 27520
(919) 550-2946

From the Flipside...

Lunch Specials

$5.00 Stimulus Burgers - lettuce, tomato, onions..your choice of cheese and regular fries - $5.00

$6.00 Grilled Cheese Sandwich with your choice of either a bowl of chicken noodle soup or Chili

$7.00 Pesto Chicken on a Ciabatta roll with provolone cheese, tomato, mixed greens and roasted red peppers.
Your choice of a side.

Dinner Features

Pasta - Fettucini tossed with portabella mushrooms, roasted garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers and shallots in a pink
vodka cream sauce. Served with a side salad and bread.

Steak Feature - Bourbon glazed 8 oz. Center Cut Sirloin served with heirloom home fries & a veggie

Tuesdays and Wednesday
5:00 to 6:30
Early Bird Special
15% off any Entree' (including the above dinner features)
Dine In Only
Wednesdays - 1/2 price wine by the glass night!
Open Mic Tonight - 8:30Karaoke Thursday
MikeMickXer on Friday
energizing rockabilly, reggae, funk, blues, R&B and rock & roll
Schedule that cartered event now. A small gathering to a large reception, we can provide you with a complete package.
Give us a call: 553-0123

Monday, November 16, 2009

From Purna Yoga East - Mini Yoga Session!

December Mini-Yoga Session 3 weeks of Restorative Yoga Classes designed specifically to relieve holiday stress and support the immune system!. Only $36.00!

Visit for more information. All levels and new students welcome.

We're also hosting visiting Certified Purna Yoga Instructor Anna Woodson-Williamson for Sunday and New Year day workshops on SLEEP YOGA called Yoga Nidra! Check out the information at the website. Holiday gift certificates are in! Give the gift of health and well-being for massages or yoga classes. Gift certificates can be purchased in any amount.

Purna Yoga East, 107 E First Street, downtown Clayton

Friday, November 13, 2009

Town Seeking Partner on House Relocation

The new Law Enforcement Center project in downtown Clayton has created a great historic preservation opportunity for an enterprising preservationist. The Town owns a historic former residence, “The Blinson House” at 317 E Second Street, adjacent to the existing Police Station. The home was acquired by the Town in preparation for expanding the Law Enforcement Center, planned for July of 2010. Because the home is considered a contributing structure in the Clayton Historic District the Town is seeking a partner to acquire and relocate the house rather than have it demolished. (more details)

Governor Announces Talecris' Clayton Expansion

Governor Beverly Perdue announced this morning that Talecris Biotherapeutics will add 259 jobs as part of a $269 million expansion in Clayton. The announcement was made at the Clayton Center. The expansion will occur over the next several years.

The company, based in Research Triangle Park, will get nearly $5 million in state incentives. The incentive package comes with a requirement that the company keep its nearly 2,300 jobs in the area.

North Carolina Commerce Department officials say Talecris' new jobs in Clayton will pay average annual salaries of $51,000.

The company says it wants to meet increasing demand for its drugs made from blood plasma.

Governor Beverly Perdue Announcement

Remarks by Talecris CEO Larry Stern

Remarks by Talecris VP Operations Mary Kuhn

Remarks by Johnston County Chair, Wade Stewart

Remarks by NC Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco

Closing remarks by Clayton Mayor, Jody McLeod

From the Flipside...

Weekend Dinner Features

Kobe Beef Parmasan burger - an 8oz. Kobe burger topped with marinara sauce, povolone and romano cheese. Served on a ciabata roll with your choice of a side.

Pasta Feature - Roasted Garlic Primavera with fettucini, side salad and bread

Center Cut Sirloin with a bourbon glaze and mixed hierloom potatoes with veggies.
Served with bread.

Sauteed Sherry Citrus Glazed Tilapa served with veggies and citrus fruit sprinkled with pink peppercorns. Served over basmati rice and veggie.

Johnny Orr and SouthStation

Over The Hill

Interested in hosting a cartered gathering? From just a coffee bar with breakfast items, to lunch or dinner, we can help! Give us a call 553-0123

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

DDA Names Margaret Ritchie as Clayton’s 2009 NC Main Street Champion

The Clayton Downtown Development Association announced at its Awards Dinner Monday night that the former editor of the Clayton News Star, the late Margaret Ritchie, was named Clayton’s 2009 NC Main Street Champion.

Each of the state’s active Main Street programs is given the opportunity annually to recognize a local Main Street Champion. Ms. Ritchie was selected for this special recognition by the DDA in appreciation of her support to the downtown revitalization process. As editor, she championed and challenged efforts made to revitalize downtown Clayton and on a personal level, she was a leading voice for public art in Clayton.

Mayor Jody McLeod said, “Margaret was indeed a champion of Main Street in Clayton. Her efforts to educate her readership on the importance of downtown Clayton were very successful even among the skeptics.”

Ms. Ritchie’s name will join past recipients Barry Woodard and Joyce Blackley, on the Clayton Main Street Champion plaque that is displayed in the Town Manager’s outer office.

A certificate commemorating this honor will be presented posthumously to Ms. Ritchie at the NC Main Street Annual Awards Dinner which is being held in New Bern on January 28, 2010.

In recognizing Ms. Ritchie for this designation, the Clayton Downtown Development Association offered the following:

The late Margaret Ritchie loved Clayton and was a vigorous supporter of downtown. Margaret passed away in August, but she has left a legacy for the future.

As editor of the local newspaper for a decade, she challenged and championed the efforts made to revitalize downtown Clayton.

She played an essential role in establishing an arts scene in town; she helped found Clayton Visual Arts 10 years ago and led it for eight years.

When the Downtown Development Association initiated a Public Art Vision, Margaret served on the planning committee. Their efforts led to the development of a town-appointed Public Art Advisory Board.

Margaret also served on the steering committee that transformed the old Clayton Elementary School into a performing arts center, known as The Clayton Center.

When doubters in town government worried about the high cost of renovating the old school, she said, “Clayton Elementary School can be saved to further the growth of downtown’s historical preservation effort and to serve the people of Clayton again, as it has for many, many years.” She continued, “Searching for liabilities and cost factors without considering the countless possibilities of that building – even its cost-saving possibilities – shows only a lack of foresight and confidence in the future.” The Clayton Center, a premier performance and meeting center now in its sixth year, has brought nearly 80,000 people to downtown.

Founding CVA, championing efforts to complete the Clayton Center and her support of downtown, Margaret was truly a Main Street Champion.

“Main Street” is a downtown revitalization program for smaller towns based on economic development within the context of historic preservation. Clayton has been a “Main Street Community” since 2006. The North Carolina Main Street Program, which provides technical assistance to its communities, is part of the Office of Urban Development in the Department of Commerce’s Division of Community Assistance.

DDA Announces Awards at Dinner Monday Night

About 65 people attended the Clayton Downtown Development Association's Annual Awards Dinner Monday night. Female gospel group C3 performed several songs and got the place buzzing before the program began. Gina Moreland, chair of the Clayton Public Art Advisory Committee gave a presentation on Public Art in Clayton. The DDA recognized several businesses and individuals for excellence and their commitments to downtown Clayton in time, advocacy and resources. Also recognized were outgoing and incoming board members. Be sure to check out the article in this week's issue of the Clayton News Star.

2009 Best Façade Improvement Over $10,000 - 104 N Fayetteville St.

The new home of HTR Commercial Realty was residential until earlier this year. The partnership undertook a complete rehabilitation of the house, keeping as much of the original materials and layout intact.
A formal driveway, parking and underground utilities and landscaping enhances the new paint colors. Repair to the roof, porches and walls included replacing rotten wood and repairing the original windows. Many of the balusters on the porches were being held together by paint, but the owners replaced them with wood reproductions. (Photo - left to right: Paul Flaherty; DDA Chair, Ed Knight; Brack Wilson, Elaine Wilson)

2009 Façade Improvement Under $10,000 - 321-327 E Main St.

The original shingles from the 1969 canopy, in front of Awards & Engravables, Beddingfield Drug Company, Connie’s and Flowers By the Neuse, were removed and replaced with a metal seam covering; the poles supporting the canopy were painted a cream color; the dark wood façade was painted a cream color, bringing more attention to the building and businesses located there. Also, an old sign from a long ago business was removed from above the canopy. (photo l-r: Walter Rasor, Beddingfield Drugs; Jeme Avent, DDA; Rob Baker, Awards & Engravables; Ed Knight, DDA Chair; Larry Belvin, General Precision)

2009 Outstanding Individual in a Business or Organization - Thad Avent, Avent-Permenter Group

The nomination for Thad noted that he has been in business for 12 years, provides “incredible” customer service and his staff says he is the ‘hardest working man in Clayton.’ In addition, he has been a sponsor of the Town Square Concert Series since the beginning, and contributes additional resources to help improve the downtown experience.

2009 Outstanding New Downtown Business – Mulberry on Main Italian Restaurant

This award recognizes a business that has opened or located to downtown Clayton in the past 24 months. The nomination noted that Mulberry on Main, “brings customers to downtown Clayton, provides excellent customer service, provides a consistent product of excellent quality, is well-managed and works creatively to promote the business.” Additionally the restaurant owners, Jerry & Bernadette Gubitosi participate in all downtown activities and events.

2009 Outstanding Downtown Business – Fancy That Gifts

This award recognizes a downtown business that has been in business 3 or more years. The qualities attributed to this nominee include: being a successful boutique that has become a downtown destination; is an advocate for downtown Clayton; cross-promotes other downtown businesses and restaurants; relocated to a larger space a year ago, which made way for another retail business downtown; and treats customers as if they are neighbors. Owner Debbie Hammond also makes it a point to be visible at downtown functions as a volunteer. (photo: Debbie Hammond (l); Ed Knight, DDA Chair)

2009 Volunteer of the Year – Lyn Austin

This award recognizes an individual who through their volunteer efforts has championed the downtown experience. The DDA’s nominee for Volunteer of the Year guided the DDA’s Promotion Committee for the past several years holding committee meetings at her house, which included a social time with home-cooked treats and developed the successful Town Square Concert Series and the Christmas Village & Tree Lighting. As a board member, Lyn has been an active participant in DDA meetings, planning retreats, and training opportunities at the local and state levels and she brings several perspectives to downtown issues.

2009 NC Main Street Champion – Margaret Ritchie
The DDA’s choice for 2009 NC Main Street Champion, Margaret Ritchie, played an essential role in establishing an arts scene in Clayton; Helped found and chaired Clayton Visual Arts; Served on the steering committee that transformed the old Clayton Elementary School into a performing arts center known as The Clayton Center. As editor of the Clayton News-Star, Margaret Ritchie used the editorial page to challenge and champion efforts to develop an arts community and stimulate the development of downtown Clayton. Although Margaret passed away earlier this year, she has left a legacy and was truly a Main Street Champion. Holding the NC Main Street Champion plaque that is displayed at The Clayton Center are Margaret's daughter, Lynne Fish (l) and Margaret's best friend, June Lioret. (photo by Rick Mercier)

Clayton is a North Carolina Main Street Community, and each year the Main Street program honors persons who have made extraordinary contributions to their local downtowns. The designation of Main Street Champion was determined in September by the DDA board. A certificate commemorating this special honor will be presented at the Main Street Awards Dinner in New Bern on January 28.

Special Presentation – Elton Pittman, Pittman’s Jewelers

Elton Pittman, who is closing his jewelry store after 62 years, was recognized for his longevity. Former DDA Chair and longtime downtown business owner, Joyce Blackley, and current DDA Chair, Ed Knight, presented Mr. Pittman with a framed copy of a recent news article chronicling the story of his business.

Outgoing DDA Members

Elton Pittman. Although the plaque he received indicated his service began in 1989, Elton was involved in the various iterations of the DDA since the beginning. Chairman Ed Knight said that Elton’s historic perspective has helped the DDA on many occasions.

Beth Williams has been on the board since 2005, when she owned and operated Flowers by the Neuse Florist, which she sold at the beginning of the year. She served as secretary and most recently as Treasurer. Beth also served on the Promotion Committee.

Lyn Austin –As a board member she took the Promotion Committee to a new level. Chairman Ed Knight said if something needs to be done, Lyn gets it done, and that he will continue to look to her for guidance and support. (Photo l-r: Betsy Grannis; Lyn Austin; Ed Knight)

Incoming DDA Members

There were eleven (11) applicants for the DDA this year with only five seats open. Two of the 11 applicants were from current board members and they were re-appointed for another term. Betsy Grannis is chair of the Organization Committee, which organized this event. Leslie Hubbard is chair of the Economic Restructuring Committee, which helped launch the Clayton Farmer’s Market. Three new members, in alphabetical order, are: Debra Austermuehle, co-owner of Main Street Jewelers; Debbie Hammond, owner of Fancy That Gifts and Margaret Lee, Clayton resident. (photo left to right: Boo Carver, Ed Knight, Jeme Avent, Michael Sims, Debbie Hammond, Betsy Grannis, Margaret Lee, Debra Austermuehle, Richard Rairigh, Leslie Hubbard.)

Clayton Chamber & Girl Scouts Team Up for Holiday Food Drive

The Clayton Area Chamber of Commerce and Junior Girl Scout Troop to hold Food Drive

The Clayton Area Chamber of Commerce is proud and honored to co-sponsor a Food Drive with Junior Girl Scout Troop #684. The Food Drive will take place during the 2009 Christmas Parade on Main Street, Clayton. The Parade and Food Drive will be held on Saturday, December 12th. The parade will begin at 3:00 p.m. and will head down Main Street.

Troop Leader, Lisa Sacca, has stated the girl scouts will have a float in the parade and pull wagons alongside the float to collect canned good food donations. All donations will go to a local food pantry. Please bring a canned good with you to the parade. Working together, we CAN make a difference.

For additional information, please contact Troop Leader Lisa Sacca at 333-5461. You may also contact the Clayton Area Chamber of Commerce at 553-6352.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

In Memoriam: H. Lee Silberman 1919-2009

Lee Silberman, a former editor of The Wall Street Journal whose career as a journalist and public relations executive spanned six decades, died suddenly Tuesday. He was 90. Silberman lived his last 10 years in Clayton, where he and he his wife, Ruth, relocated from Morristown, NJ, to be closer to their son and grandchildren.

That's the opening paragraph of Lee's obituary in the News & Observer on Friday. The rest of it follows below, and he led a very impressive career, indeed, so be sure to read it. Lee recently served for several years on the Clayton Downtown Development Association. In the photo Lee is shown recieving a plaque recognizing his service on the DDA board. One of his lasting contributions to the DDA was the editing of the Downtown Clayton: Vision 2012 statement. He took a list of sentences and brought them to life and present a vibrant description of the vision for downtown Clayton. Lee was eager to be of service in his adopted community, whether it was distributing flyers to businesses, writing the Rotary newsletter, opening their house just a few weeks ago for an art walk, or in myriad other ways, he wanted to contribute, and he did. Thank you, Lee.

Before retiring in 1995, Silberman was executive vice president for the New York public relations firm Hill & Knowlton, working with clients that included Woolworths, Prudential and Bankers Trust. He held the position into his late 70s, commuting to Manhattan by train from his home in suburban New Jersey. Silberman’s first love, however, was newspapers, a passion he pursued from the time he was editor of the Daily Cardinal student newspaper at the University of Wisconsin. After graduating, he landed his first job as a cub reporter for the Bayonne Times in Hudson County, N.J., near Newark, where he was born to first-generation Russian immigrant parents. His early career was interrupted by World War II. He served four years in the Army, rising to the rank of captain. He later moved on to the Wichita Eagle in Kansas and then, in 1955, to the Wall Street Journal, where he was banking editor and wrote a tax column. He received the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism in 1965 for an article he wrote for the Harvard Business Review. He later became a Wall Street correspondent for the Economist magazine. Even in retirement, Silberman continued to write and report. He wrote occasional columns for the Clayton News Star and edited the Clayton Rotary Club’s newsletter, The Roundup. He remained a voracious newspaper reader and news junkie until the day he died. He read several papers a day, including The News & Observer and The New York Times. Silberman developed a strong attachment to his adopted Clayton, where he was appointed to the town’s Downtown Development Association and was a member of the Clayton Rotary and the First Baptist Church. He is survived by Ruth, his wife of 60 years; sons, Richard of South Lyon, MI, Gregory of Santa Clarita, CA, and Todd and his wife, Kristin Collins of Raleigh; and eight grandchildren. A memorial service will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, November 7, 2009 at the First Baptist Church of Clayton, 411 N. Fayetteville St., Clayton. In lieu of flowers, send donations to the Johnston County Council on Aging, 1363 West Market Street, Smithfield, NC 27577.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Why would YOU buy Original Art?

by Cheryl McCardle
from Eye of the Eagle Art newsletter

What is the catalyst that inspires someone to buy a piece of original art? I suppose there are many factors that go into that decision, and also fears about how to purchase artwork. I think many people believe they don't know enough about art to make a wise choice. Here are a few statements I've heard as to why someone takes the plunge into the art market.

1. “It matches my sofa.”

2. “I love the colors.”

3. “It makes me feel happy, uplifted, sad, nostalgic…”

4. “My wife/husband likes it.”

5. “I think it may be a good financial investment.”

6. “I know the artist or want to be supportive of the arts.”

7. “I want people to think I have culture or sophistication.”

These are all valid reasons which touch on why individuals would consider buying art. An artist is always thrilled to have a client who finds something exceptional about their work.

Let's flip the coin and think about why some people would never think of buying original art or even going into a gallery. Can they make a big mistake when buying art? Here's what they might say:

1. “Galleries and art are for people with lots of money.”

2. “It won't match my sofa.”

3. “It cost too much, and I can get a cheap print at a ‘home store' for a lot less.”

4. “I don't understand it.”

5. “TOO Expensive!”

6. “I can't believe those artists have fun doing art, then charge a fortune for it.”

7. “I don't know enough about art to know what is good.”

Well, you get the picture. Art can be an expensive investment if you are collecting the works of someone more notable. However, if you look around, and especially check out the art in your own community, you might find something wonderful at a reasonable price. As far as galleries or art only being for the rich, it's simply not true. You can go into galleries just to enjoy looking at art. Gallery owners don't expect everyone who walks in the door to buy something.

Most galleries have receptions that are free and open to the public and no one should ever feel that they are not good enough or have to buy something if they attend. As far as understanding art, you don't need to be an expert to know what you like. You are the only one who needs to love it. If you like the art, and can afford a piece, then buy it. There are a lot of individuals who spend a large sums of money on items related to their favorite sport, hobby, clothes, etc., but would never consider spending money on art.

I was once helping to hang a show in a coffee house. The exhibiting artists tried to price everything low to make it affordable. I was arranging the work when I overheard a woman exclaim how much she liked a piece, but she thought $150 was way too much. Yet, from the way she looked, I would bet that this same person probably spent that much every month getting her hair and nails done. I suppose that some individuals perceive artists work as “play,” and don't consider making art a “real job.” People don't always take into consideration the cost of training, materials and the number of hours an artist spends to complete one work.

It's always a boost to the artist ego, when someone appreciates their art, and even better if they buy something. If you like art and have any interest in collecting, and would like to start on a small scale, visit local galleries, coffee houses, restaurants and other local businesses that display art. You don't have to limit yourself to paintings. There is some wonderful photography, pottery, and other forms of art that are priced to sell. You may be surprised at how reasonable original art can be.

The right piece of art will give special meaning to your personal space and long outlast posters, prints and mass produced items from home stores. No matter what the reason, spending time viewing art or making a special art purchase will always lift your spirits and be a treat for your eyes. So get out there and look at some art today!

Speaking of buying great art, DON'T FORGET! Come to the Eye of the Eagle's Premiere opening of the World's Largest Tiny Art Show on Friday, November 6. Meet the artists, view the art and purchase a 1 of a kind gift for family or friend. Nothing is over $50.

131 E First Street in Downtown Clayton

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Tickets Still Available for DDA Awards Dinner Monday Night

From the Flipside...

Lunch Feature:
$5.00 Burger w/ choice of side

Tomato artichoke bisque with grated romano cheese
Add grilled cheese sandwich

Dinner Feature:
Teriyaki glazed sirloin cooked to your liking served w/ a nest of cellophane saffron herbed pasta & veggie

Fettucccini tossed w/ portabella mushrooms, spinach, tomato, basil, & shallots w/ a marsella cream sauce
served w/ side salad & bread

Open Mic - hosted by Tracy Wiebeck - come out to play or listen to singer/songwriters

Thursday night:
Karaoke - DJ Ray will be hosting a fun night of singing - anything goes.......

Friday night:
Joe Bell & The Stinging Blades - a most excellent night of great music - Check these guys out!

Saturday night:
We had soooo much fun last time these guys played they are already back -- Feel like dancing? Then come on down for some rockabilly!
D. Martini & The Highballs

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Spencers: Theatre of Illusion at The Clayton Center on Sunday, Nov. 15

Prepare to be mystified – the Spencers are bringing their magical spectacle The Spencers: Theatre of Illusion to The Clayton Center on Sunday, Nov. 15, at 4 p.m.

For more than a decade, Kevin and Cindy Spencer have dazzled the world with their engaging personalities, entertaining stage magic and breath-taking illusions. These modern-day Houdinis have redefined the art of illusion and are shattering the stereotype of the traditional magician. They have left a trail of accolades in their wake with more than 20 national awards, making them one of the most recognized and honored performance teams in the industry. Arts event programmers have named them Performing Arts Entertainers of the Year an amazing six times; and their peers recognized them as “the best of the best” by naming them the 2009 International Magicians of the Year, joining the ranks of Doug Henning, Penn & Teller, and David Copperfield.

The Spencers have baffled and entertained millions of people in venues across America and around the world, and they continue to bring a fresh meaning to the word “magic” for a new generation of spectators. Theatre of Illusion is one of the largest illusion companies on tour today. The Spencers work with some of the leading inventors, creators and builders in the industry to incorporate original, never-before-seen illusions into their production. Theatre of Illusion is a sophisticated stage experience filled with original magical creations designed exclusively for The Spencers.

Kevin Spencer was intrigued by magic at a very young age. His parents bought him a magic kit at age 8, and he worked hard to master the tricks. However, by middle school his focus had changed to music. That is until Doug Henning.

Henning revived the fascination Kevin had with magic and once again he began to work on his magic throughout high school. In college in Chattanooga, Tenn., he worked part-time in a magic shop and met some of the local musicians. He learned new effects and the opportunity gave him plenty of experience in demonstrating the tricks for others. It was during this time that he made the unconscious decision to pursue magic as a career.

Performing has always been in Cindy Spencer’s blood. She attended college with a vocal scholarship and traveled with a vocal group that performed throughout the country and abroad. She met Kevin in the early 1980s, and the couple married in 1983. Cindy is the first woman to be recognized by the International Brotherhood of Magicians and receive her own feature and cover on the oldest magic magazine in the world, The Linking Ring.

The Spencers are entering their 20th professional year. Entertainers come and go but few leave behind a lasting impression on their audiences or their art. The Spencers are one of those rare exceptions. What they create is a powerful theatrical experience their audiences will never forget.

Tickets for The Spencers: Theatre of Illusion are $15 adults, $12 children 12 and under. A $50 family four pack also is available. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 919-553-1737; at The Clayton Center Box Office from 10 a.m. until noon and from 1 until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at The Box Office is located in The Clayton Center at 111 E. Second St. in downtown Clayton.

The next performance in the 2009-2010 Palladian Series is Jan. 22, 2010, when Clayton audience favorite Etta May brings her new solo show – Dr. Etta (Family Specialist) – to The Clayton Center.

Other popular artists presented in past seasons at The Clayton Center include Kathy Mattea, Johnny Winter, Jesse Cook, Jim Brickman, Doc Watson, Eileen Ivers, Riders In the Sky, the Harlem Gospel Choir and David Sedaris.

St Baldrick's Event UPDATE

We received an update after the Downtown Clayton Insider ran the St Baldrick's post late last week:

Over $62,000 was raised at the St. Baldrick's event. An unexpected $18,000 came in the day of the event!
That is awesome!!!

From Fancy That!

Holiday decorations are in at Fancy That Gifts, 120 E Main Street in downtown Clayton. Also, check out the sale items on the back porch. All Halloween and Fall decor is 50% off!