Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fireworks in Clayton on July 4 - Huge Celebration Planned!

Clayton's traditional Independence Day celebration is coming back with a bang next month with a slew of activities, including family events, competitions, demonstrations, children's games, bingo, live music, free ice cream and, of course, the area's best fireworks show.

The festivities will begin at 4 pm at Municipal Park on Monday, July 4, with fireworks at 9:15 pm.

"We're planning for quite a celebration," said Mayor Jody McLeod. "After last year's disappointment, we're coming back in a big way."

Competitions will kick off the celebration at 4 pm, headlined by the Basketball Skills Competition and the Cornhole Competition. Family Field Events--sack races, relay races, water balloon toss, egg toss, egg & spoon race and 50-yard dash--will also get underway.

Children's games will begin at 5 pm and last until about 8:30 pm. In addition, local groups will be offering Kung fu, Zumba and Line Dancing demonstrations, and the Fire Department will be offering a "spray down" to fight the heat. Also at 5 pm, the crowd will be treated to free watermelon.

Bingo begins at 6 pm, with free ice cream at 7 pm.

The band "East Bound" will perform from 7 to 9 pm, with a raffle drawing just before the national anthem and fireworks at 9:15 pm.

Last year, town leaders had to take fireworks out of the Independence Day celebration due to the economic downturn that hit the town's budget hard. But, earlier this year they decided to shift enough money from a parks study to buy $18,000 worth of fireworks for this year's celebration. Town Manager Steve Biggs said the parks study can go forward next year.

Councilman Bob Satterfield summed up the feelings of the Town Council when he said the July 4 celebration is important as a "morale booster" for a community weary from several years of economic hardship. Last year's cancellation of fireworks was a huge disappointment to a large number of residents. Many said it painfully underscored the hardship they were already enduring.

Clayton has traditionally held the largest July 4 celebration in the area, attracting thousands of area residents with all sorts of events, traditional summer foods and the area's biggest fireworks display. Donations pay for part of the cost, but the town usually provides the fireworks.

Here's the schedule of activities:

4 pm• Family Field Events -sack races, relay races, 50 yd. dash, water balloon toss, egg toss, egg &
spoon race
• Basketball Skills Competition
• Cornhole Competition

5 pm• Free Watermelon
• Clayton Fire Department Spray Down
• Kung Fu, Zumba, and Line Dancing Demonstrations
• Children’s Games (5:00-8:30)

6 pm
• Bingo

7 pm• Free Ice Cream

7-9 pm• “East Bound” Performs (bring your blanket or lawn chair)

9 pm• Raffle Drawing
• Sponsor Recognition
• National Anthem

9:15 pm
• Area’s Best Fireworks Show

This year's sponsors are:

Town of Clayton
Wake Heart & Vascular

RedKimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.

WhiteMonster Batting Cages
Four Oaks Bank & Trust
Withers & Ravenel
Debra Zombek, D.D.S., P.A.
Farm Bureau
Lorie Paulk Photography

BlueInfinity Fire Protection
State Farm
Patriot State Bank
Hudson’s Hardware

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

N&O to Buy Clayton News-Star

From the Clayton News-Star

Stewart McLeod, owner and publisher of The Clayton News-Star since 1997, announced today that he is selling the newspaper to the News & Observer Publishing Company.

"This was not an easy decision, and one that I thoughtfully and prayerfully considered for some time," McLeod said. "I weighed the interests of my family and the Clayton community and determined that a change in ownership is best for the continued success of the newspaper.
"The Clayton News-Star is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The News & Observer has the resources to insure that it will be around for another 100 years," McLeod said.
Editor Brian Rapp and Sports Editor Jim Green will join the News & Observer community news staff. McLeod will serve as advertising director of the News-Star. The newspaper will continue to operate from the offices at 109 Ellington St. in downtown Clayton.
The Clayton News-Star will increase circulation to 17,000 and become a semi-weekly, with Wednesday and Sunday publications. The first expanded edition will be published on Wednesday, Aug. 3, with the Sunday edition launching Aug. 7.
The News & Observer's Garner-Clayton Record will no longer be distributed in the Clayton area and will be renamed the Garner-Cleveland Record.
"We are pleased to have the opportunity to build on the success that Stewart McLeod has achieved with this popular paper," said News & Observer Publisher Orage Quarles. "With a Sunday edition and increased distribution, the News-Star will be able to offer more content to readers and more marketing power to advertisers."
With the purchase, the News & Observer will expand its community newspaper group to 10 publications. The Smithfield Herald and East Wake News also are part of the network.
"I'm excited about the future," McLeod said, "especially having two editions. For the past 14 years, The Clayton News-Star has been good to me and my family, and the entire Clayton community has been a most supportive and loyal friend. For that, I am very thankful, and I look forward to continuing to invest my time and energy in the paper and in Clayton.
"I am extremely appreciative of the efforts and excellent work of the newspaper over the years. My sincere thanks go to the present staff of Brian Rapp, Jim Green, Diane O'Brien and Suzanne Benoy and part-timers Laura Crosio, Raiford Johnson and Holly Lock for their expertise, dedication and loyalty," McLeod added. "They are more than employees; they are part of my family.
"With the help of many good people, including my late editor, Margaret Ritchie, and now-retired advertising manager, Shirley Johnson, the News-Star grew with the Clayton community and became an integral part of its fabric. I am proud to have been a part of its ownership history."
McLeod purchased The Clayton News-Star from Ralph Delano of Benson on Jan. 1, 1997. The paper was founded on Sept. 1, 1911, with W.S. Penn as editor.  (read more)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A JAZZ TRIBUTE TO DORIS DAY The only tribute endorsed by Doris Day

Vocalist Laura Didier and the Jim Martinez Trio will present "A Jazz Tribute to Doris Day" concert on Sunday, June 26, 2011.

Show starts at 3:00 pm and will take place at The Clayton Center, 111 East Second Street, Clayton. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Tickets available by calling 919.553-1737 or at Please note Ms. Day will not be present.

A classically-trained pianist based in Sacramento, CA, Jim Martinez has performed or recorded with notables like Lionel Hampton, the Stan Kenton Band, the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Christian McBride, Benny Golson, Roy Hargrove, and Ed Thigpen, who was the first drummer with the Oscar Peterson Trio. Martinez recently worked as pianist and musical director for Joan Rivers and Bob Newhart.

Laura Didier, currently living in North Carolina, has been performing steadily with the Jim Martinez Trio since early 2007. Didier has performed at major Jazz festivals in California, Idaho, and Canada including the famed Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.

Martinez and Didier have presented their show nationally from retirement communities to performing art centers. Their tribute is the only one endorsed by Ms. Day. Jim and Laura have also been the only artists chosen to entertain at her Carmel, CA hotel, The Cypress Inn, for her annual birthday celebration on April 3.

This event will include stories, highlights and colorful images from Ms. Day's career. Didier and the Jim Martinez Trio will also perform many of Doris Day's popular hits spanning five decades, including "Sentimental Journey", "Secret Love" and "Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be").

Recently, Ms. Day had this to say: "Jim, thanks for the tribute" and "For Laura, a beautiful lady and a wonderful singer!"

More info can be found at or by calling 919.553-1737.

Town Square Concert Gets Front Page Coverage - For Flash Mob!

Last week's Clayton Town Square Concert featuring Johnny Orr has received a front-page berth in today's Garner-Clayton Record - for the Flash Mob dance! Check it out here:

By the way, the next concert in the series is with Craig Woolard Band on July 21!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Art Programs

The Eye of the Eagle Art center in downtown Clayton is now offering summer art programs.

Visit their website for information, dates and times.

Or call Ms. Bonnie at 919-585-2461

FlipSide Events for the week of 6/20 - 6/26/11

6/21 - Open Mic

6/24 - Mike MickXer Band - 9:00 PM

6/25 - Valentino & the Piedmont Sheiks Band -9:00pm

6/26 - DPM Studio Present a Burlesque Recital

Doors open at 4:00 pm

Showtime at 5:00 pm

FlipSide Specials for the week of 6/20 – 6/25


$5 - Burger quarter pound Angus burger with choice of cheese LTO and steak fries

$6 - Soup and grill cheese Jambalaya soup with choice of bread and cheese

$6 - Foot long Nathan’s hot dog with choice of fixins and steak fries

$7 - Scallop cake sandwich 3 oz Scallop cake on a petite Kaiser with lettuce and tomato and choice of sauce with steak fries 

Available at lunch or dinner

$8 - Burger of the Week Teriyaki Burger quarter pound Angus burger with Teriyaki sauce applewood smoked bacon grilled pineapple and choice of cheese with choice of side 

$12 - Catch of the Day Caribbean jerk Swai with Mango salsa Basmati veggie rice and veg

$13 - Pasta of the Day Roasted red pepper cream with shell pasta served with side salad and bread

$14 - Caribbean Seared Tuna with jerk sauce served with grilled heirloom potatoes and warm pineapple salsa

$16 - Peppered Tenderloin with  Parmesan rice and veg

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ford Firm Ribbon Cutting

The Clayton Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting today for one of it's newest downtown members: The Ford Firm at 442-B E Main Street. The firm has specialties in Real Estate, Election Law, Small Business Issues and Wills & Estates. David & Heather Ford are the attorneys, Tracy Perry is their paralegal. Call them at 550-2100 or visit their website at

In the photo from left: Gerald Ford, David Ford, Tracy Perry.

13th Annual Clayton Visual Art Faire Competition Registration

Library's Summer Reading Program Underway

With summer nearly here, the Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library is putting together programs to keep young children learning while school is out.

One of them---the Summer Reading Program---is underway, encouraging children to read as much as possible during the lazy summer months.

"These programs have gone very well in previous years," said Children's Librarian Kristi Lesmann, "and we're looking forward to another productive summer."

The free Summer Reading Program, open to children from birth to sixth grade, will take participants on a trip around the globe this year, exploring lands from Australia to Zimbabwe through stories, take-home crafts, puppet shows and other activities. "One World, Many Stories" will be full of programs, prizes, story hours and more.

Here's the summer schedule for reading programs at the Library. All programs begin at 10 am.


21st - Meet Ronald McDonald at The Clayton Center 

22nd - Come see Smokey Bear

28th - A visit from the Duke Medical Team

29th - Meet at Clayton High School to see the SAS helicopter


5th - A visit from Dr. Ken Ahlstrom, CAPS Program Director

6th - Come see the Chick-Fil-A Cow and puppet show

12th - Come see McGruff the Crime Dog

13th - A visit from the North Carolina Highway Patrol

19th - Stories and puppet shows

20th - Stories and puppet shows

26th - NC Science Museum Tropical Connections

27th - Stories and puppet shows


2nd - Come see Gina Powell and a puppet show

3rd - Time to Party!!

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

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

News Article: Cheesecake, computers and hair - oh my

Here's a good article in today's Garner-Clayton Record about 3 of downtown's newest businesses: My Girlfriend's Place, Sherry's Signature Cheesecakes and Lizardweb Computer Services in the Southern Trataditions House at 115 E First Street...

Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2011

BY SARAH NAGEM - Staff Writer Garner-Clayton Record
At The Southern Traditions House, a tidy white building downtown, visitors can get a haircut, nibble on a piece of cheesecake and get their computer fixed.

In April, three businesses moved in at 115 E. 1st St. - My Girlfriends Place, which is a salon and spa; Sherry's Signature Cheesecakes; and Lizardwebs Computer Services. The trio might sound like they don't have much in common, but the owners say they mesh just fine, and business has been good. (full article)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Flash Mob Dancers Wanted!

TunerWorks Opens in Downtown Clayton

Pizazz Seeking Gently Used Woman’s Clothing in Clayton

An upscale woman’s clothing resale store, Pizazz, is in need of gently used quality woman's clothing and accessories, including jewelry. Pizazz is located at 132 E Second Street, and has a nice selection of clothes. The window displays have always received great comments. Store manager, Katy Buchan wants to encourage people to visit the store and to donate their gently used clothing. All donations are tax-deductible.

Harbor, Inc., a nonprofit group that aids victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, operates Pizazz stores in Clayton and Smithfield. The stores need clothing not only for shoppers but for clients of Harbor, Inc. which runs a shelter for abused women and children, and they get first choice on Pizazz items. All proceeds from Pizazz goes back into Harbor programs.

The store is open from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. till 3 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information call (919) 550-1915.

Johnny Orr Band at June 16 Clayton Town Square Concert

The next Clayton Town Square Concert will feature The Johnny Orr Band on Thursday, June 16 from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm at the Clayton Town Square, 100 W Main Street in downtown.

Johnny Orr has been a fixture in the Raleigh area for a long time. He’s been performing since the mid 80′s and the past few years have kicked things up notch. Johnny made it to the finals at Nashville Star, he’s been on CMT’s Big Break with Sara Evans, he’s opened for Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band, Gretchen Wilson, Phil Vassar, Josh Gracin, Josh Thompson, Jeff Bates, and many more. Johnny Orr Band also won the Clayton Town Square Concert Series, “Battle of the Bands” in 2008.
Sponsors of the 2011 Clayton Town Square Concert Series are the Town of Clayton, Clayton Steakhouse, Hometowne Realty, The Flipside Restaurant, Clayton News-Star and Joe Mama’s Mobile Stages.

Several downtown restaurants offer pre-concert dinner specials, including The Flipside at 408 E Second Street, Clayton Steakhouse, 307 E Main Street, Mulberry on Main Italian Restaurant, 217 E Main Street as well as Festejos Mexican Grill, 905 E Main Street, and Lucky Chicken Peruvian Restaurant, 226 E Main Street.

Residents of Clayton are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for this “free” public concert. There are several local vendors to provide light refreshments and food. The Clayton Downtown Development Association, Inc. will once again serve beer and wine. Coolers and alcoholic beverages are not allowed to be brought in to the Town Square.

Concert Series updates and other downtown news can be found by visiting

All concert dates are the third Thursday of the month from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm at the Town Square at 100 W Main Street in downtown Clayton.

May 19 Hip Pocket Band

June 2 Nantucket

June 16 Johnny Orr Band

July 21 Craig Woolard Band

August 18 Central Park Band

Sept 15 The Castaways

The Clayton Downtown Development Association, Inc. is a non-profit organization formed to coordinate revitalization work in the historic downtown district. The Clayton DDA advocates and provides business improvement services in the downtown district, administers incentives for downtown improvements, and organizes several special events, including the Town Square Concert Series, and the Christmas Village & Tree Lighting.

For more information on the series contact

FlipSide Lunch & Dinner Specials for the week of 6/13 – 6/18


$5 - Quarter pound Angus burger with choice of cheese LTO and regular FF
$6 - Soup and grill cheese Lime Chipotle Black Bean soup
$7 - Loaded Foot Long Hot Dog with chili cheddar cheese onion and slaw with regular FF
$8 - Crab Cake Petite Sandwich Quarter pound crab cake served on a petite Kaiser roll with LTO and jalapeño aioli served with choice of side
$9 - Burger of the Week Double Cowboy Burger 2 Quarter pound Angus burgers with BBQ sauce cheddar cheese Applewood smoked bacon Beer battered onion rings and LTO on a Kaiser with choice of side

$12 - Cajun Baked Swai served with Guacamole rice and grilled veg
$13 - Pasta of the Day a sauté of cherry tomatoes red onion and ground Angus beef in marinara with shell pasta served with side salad and bread
$14 - Catch of the Day Seared Sushi Tuna with Roasted garlic pepper crust served with guacamole rice and veg
$16 - Cabernet Braised Tenderloin with mushroom and red onion served with basmati rice and veg

The Flipside Restaurant is located at 408 E Second Street in downtown Clayton! (919) 553-0123

Nantucket Band to be Featured in New Film

Film producer Mark Grady of Webster Falls Films announced on June 2, 2011 that rock band Nantucket will be in the film "Whispering Pines" and feature some of their music, too! The announcement was made prior to the band's appearance at the Clayton Town Square Concert.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Prete Wins "Think Clayton, Think Art" Contest

A watercolor named "Flipside" by local artist Janie Prete, which depicts customers talking and relaxing at the local restaurant, won the "THINK CLAYTON, THINK ART" poster contest Thursday and the $1,000 prize that comes along with it.

The poster will be on exhibition at The Clayton Center during June, along with others in the contest.

"This wonderful work of art has a romantic feel that seems to capture the spirit of a different era," said Mayor Jody McLeod, long a strong supporter of the arts in Clayton. "It brings a hint of Paris to downtown Clayton."

Prete--whose work is available at Right Angles Art Gallery and Eye of the Eagle--has exhibited in several venues, including the History Museum in Morehead City, the Maritime Museum in Beaufort and The Clayton Center. She has a permanent collection at the new Johnston County Medical Center-Clayton and Johnston Memorial Hospital in Smithfield. She is a member of the NC Watercolor Society, the Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, the Beaufort Historical Association, the Johnston County Arts Council and Clayton Visual Arts.

She has won several awards for her art, including the Richard Zuch Watercolor award in Carteret County, as well as "Best In Show" for a watercolor depicting sea life.

The poster contest, which is sponsored by Clayton Visual Arts, is held every two years. Dan Lee won the 2009 competition with his painting, "Morning Bridge," which depicted one of the town's most beautiful scenes.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Millstock @ The Flipside Today!

Millstock Live at the Flipside Today! 
408 E Second Street downtown Clayton
Corn Hole Tournament  Starts at 2:00 PM, register by 12:00 noon
Exhibiting a Classic Car Show and Motorcycles in the parking lot.
Band LineupNoon - 2:30 PM - Mr. Mustard Band - Outside
3 - 5:30 PM All My Rowdy Friends Band - Inside
6 - 8:30 PM Johnny Orr - Outside
9 - until Bush Hawg Band - Inside
Also, the Clayton Visual ARTS FAIRE from 10-4pm at the corner of Main and Lombard Streets in Horne Square. Over 20 local artists are exhibiting their work plus local musicians and dancers and children's chalk it up area. 
It's a fun day in downtown Clayton!