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Town of Clayton Picked to Host 2018 NC Main Street Conference


We got it!

The Town of Clayton and the Clayton Downtown Development Association are excited to announce that we’ve been selected to host the 2018 North Carolina Main Street Conference!

Set to span three days, March 13-15, the conference will bring hundreds to Clayton from all over North Carolina – including main street managers, downtown revitalization board members, town planners and elected officials. Joining them will be professionals from fields that affect downtown development, such as design, architecture, historic preservation, landscape architecture and event planning.

In all, we expect 500 or more people to come to Clayton March 13-15th.

Clayton hosted the conference in 2012, and Mayor Jody McLeod said he is eager to showcase how much our downtown has flourished in the past five years.

“We’re honored that the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Main Street Center has once again chosen to ‘Think Clayton’ and select us as the home for next year’s conference,” said Mayor Jody McLeod. “Our public art initiatives were just getting started five years ago, and now we’re seeing the impact and value those projects can bring to a downtown. This is a great opportunity for Clayton, and we can’t wait to welcome these guests from all across the state!”

Getting selected to host the N.C. Main Street Conference is no small feat. In fact, there’s quite a rigorous selection process, said Liz Parham, director of the N.C. Department of Commerce's N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center. 

“We conduct a comprehensive assessment of a community before we select a host city,” Parham said.  “The community must be able to demonstrate and showcase success in their downtown revitalization efforts. They must have quality downtown facilities that can comfortably handle up to 450 participants, committed volunteers, town council and staff support, and good amenities. We feel that Clayton has the right combination of these components for a great conference in 2018.”

Most of the conference activities will be held at The Clayton Center, a historic complex housing our performing arts auditorium and meeting facilities, located in the heart of Downtown Clayton. Attendees will also have plenty of opportunity to tour, shop and dine in Clayton’s vibrant downtown.

Although the conference is organized by the N.C. Main Street staff, the host community has a to-do list as well. There’s a lot of work to do in the next year!! We can’t wait to work with our downtown businesses to help promote them to conference attendees and get them ready for the huge number of visitors.

The N.C. Main Street assists selected communities across the state in restoring economic vitality to their historic downtowns. Using a comprehensive downtown revitalization process developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Main Street encourages economic development within the context of historic preservation.

Main Street staff provides technical assistance, guidance and training for participating communities. While grant funds for specific projects occasionally become available, Main Street is a self-help program, and it is up to local communities to provide the human and financial resources necessary to operate their downtown programs.

New Main Street communities are selected every three years through a competitive application process. Communities must have a certified population under 50,000 and commit to hiring a full-time downtown manager and providing funding for operating the program for an initial three-year period.

Clayton was selected as a Main Street Community in 2006.

The Clayton Downtown Development Association is made up of Town Council-appointed board members who work to preserve the character of the Downtown Clayton area, protect the historic significance of the buildings, facilities, and spaces within Downtown Clayton, educate citizens and business people about the value of the history of Downtown Clayton, promote Downtown Clayton as a place to invest for the preservation and promotion of historic quality, unique features and historic landmarks, serve as a review and advisory committee to the Town of Clayton and implement projects that enhance and protect Downtown Clayton.

The CDDA also organizes several special events, including the Town Square Concert Series and the Christmas Village & Tree Lighting.

 Visit for more information.


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