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Christmas Tree Lights Up Town Square

12/03/2020

It’s officially Christmas in downtown Clayton! Santa joined Mayor Jody McLeod for a virtual tree lighting on Town Square Thursday evening. The event was livestreamed to the community via the Town’s Facebook pages. 

Clayton Rotary Club President Michael Sims, Clayton Downtown Development Association Vice Chair Bernice Lopes, Rep. Donna White, N.C. House District 26, and Mr. and Mrs. Christmas 2020 – Clayton Fire Chief Lee Barbee and his wife, Donna – joined in the event. 

The Clayton Rotary Club, which sponsors the annual Clayton Christmas Parade, and DDA, sponsor of the annual Downtown Christmas Village and Tree Lighting, canceled those events this year due to concerns about the spread of Covid-19.  

But that didn’t mean that the Town would go without a brightly lit tree in the center of the square.  

“We couldn’t go without a tree lighting this year,” Mayor McLoed said. “We just had to go virtual. It’s not as grand an event, but it was a memorable way to begin the Christmas season in Clayton. 

“This is a time to celebrate our local businesses and thank our civic organizations and simply to wish everyone a very merry and safe Christmas!” he added.  

In keeping with tradition, the Mayor announced DDA’s selection of Clayton’s Mr. & Mrs. Christmas 2020 – Fire Chief Lee Barbee and his wife, Donna. The honorary Christmas couple is selected by the members of the Clayton Downtown Development Christmas Committee.  

Lee has been with the Clayton Fire Department for four decades and received high praise from the nominating committee. “Lee displays strong leadership and courage and encourages it from his firefighters. He works sunrise to sunset and weekends. He is a true hero to Clayton. This year has certainly been trying, but he has remained a pillar of strength to Clayton.”    

Lee and Donna have two sons and several grandchildren. As a fire wife, she has always been supportive and loving. Back when the CFD was volunteer she would ride on calls with Lee.  

Mr & Mrs Christmas is nominated and voted on by the members of the Clayton Downtown Development Christmas committee. These are the volunteers that help put together the tree lighting, and store front decorating contest. 

The Mayor also announced the winners of the DDA Store Front Decorating Contest. They are: 

Most Traditional – Aunties Cottage 
Most Creative Retail – Queen’s Court 
Most Creative Non-Retail – Community Garden 
Best Restaurant/Café – The Yellow House 
People’s Choice- Bexley House.  

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