Welcome the Town of Clayton, North Carolina

Join us Thursday, December 2, 2021 for this Clayton holiday tradition!  

Downtown at Christmas

We are so excited to bring this beloved event back! Thousands of people will pack Main Street Thursday, December 2, 2021 to help bring Downtown Clayton alive with the holiday spirit for the 31st Annual Tree Lighting & Christmas Village!

Starting at 5:30 p.m., enjoy two and a half hours of music, holiday cheer, a business open house, a live Nativity, train rides and — of course — a chance to see Santa.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony – Town Square

Program begins 7:45 p.m. – We aim to light the tree at 8 p.m.! 

Christmas Tree

Follow Santa Claus and the honorary “Mr. or Mrs. Christmas” as they ride in a horse-drawn carriage down Main Street to Town Square. The carriage is sponsored by the Bexley House. At 7:45 p.m. Mayor Jody McLeod will welcome the crowd and lead the countdown to the tree lighting! Don't miss this holiday tradition.  

Santa – 5:30–7:30 p.m.

Santa Claus will make his way to Horne Square on top of a Fire Truck ! Join us at the Square at 348 E. Main Street, on the corner of Lombard and Main streets, where children can sit on Santa's lap and share their Christmas wishes! Santa and the brand new backdrop is brought to you by Barre 3 and True North Yoga. Children will also have an opportunity to write a letter to Santa, thanks to Clayton Steakhouse. A trackless train, sponsored by Clayton Blind and Design, will circle the parking lot at Horne Square to deliver the children to the photo area! Families get to snap free pictures with their cameras or cell phones. 


In the parking lot next to Main Street Jewelry, children will have an opportunity to decorate cookies, courtesy of Nina's Restaurant, Leak Locators and Main Street Jewelers.

Downtown Business Open House – 5:30–7:30 p.m.

Downtown Business Open House

Experience all that Downtown Clayton has to offer from retail to service businesses. Come get to know our small businesses - there are so many new shops to explore! They'll welcome you in with holiday refreshments including cider, soft drinks, cookies, candies and other gifts. If your stomach is calling for more than just snacks, all downtown restaurants are open for dinner.


The live nativity and readings, brought to you by First Baptist Church of Clayton, will be in the front lawn next to Studio Bleu from 5:30-7:30 p.m. 


Local youth dance, band and vocal groups will perform at the performance area in front of Corked and Untapped (459 E Main St)  and on the stage at Town Square.
Performances in front of Corked & Untapped:
6:00 pm Rhythm with a Reason
6:20 pm Dance Ascension
6:40 pm Christy's Dancexplosion - Feet on Fire Clogging Team
7:00 pm Clayton School of Dance

Performances on the Town Square Stage
5:45 pm Lipscomb Learning Center
6:15 pm Cooper Academy Chorus
6:30 pm Clayton Middle Jazz Band
6:50 pm Clayton High School Chorus
7:15 pm Jonathan Levin, Pianist

7:35 pm Clayton High School Marching Band, Doggie Parade, Santa and Mr & Mrs Claus will make their way down Main Street!
7:45 pm Tree Lighting Ceremony


Grab a family photo in the photo booth, sponsored by HTR Hometown Realty and Cornerstone Lending.


The 2021 Doggie Costume Contest is brought to you by Roxie Daizy Pet Salon! Register starting at 5:30 p.m. at Clayton Chiropractic at the corner of Main & Church streets. Judging starts at 7 p.m. and then we'll join the Clayton High School marching band in a Doggie Costume Parade toward the tree lighting in Town Square! Check the Roxie Daizy Facebook page for more details! 


When you hear the Clayton High School Marching Band at 7:30 p.m., that signals that it is time to make your way to Town Square for the tree lighting ceremony! This short parade will feature the Doggie Costume Contest contestants, a horse drawn carriage carrying Santa and Mr. & Mrs. Christmas and the CHS marching band! 

The tree lighting ceremony will begin at 7:45 p.m. with the presentation of awards for the Downtown Clayton storefront decorating contest, the Doggie Costume Contest winners and Mr. & Mrs. Christmas! The tree will be lit at 8 p.m. sharp by Mayor Jody McLeod!

Special Thank you to sponsors Country Superstars and Ragland Production for making this event possible!

Attention Drivers: Main Street will officially be closed from Smith Street to O’Neil Street from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. for this Christmas Village to be created! No parking on Main Street after 4 p.m. You can park on all side streets and residential streets, but please do not block driveways. Again, your best bet is parking in the large lots at Clayton High School off Fayetteville Street and with a canned good/non-perishable item for Clayton Area Ministries, you'll get a free shuttle ride right to the event.

About the Clayton Downtown Development Association

Christmas Tree

The Clayton Downtown Development Association Inc. is a non-profit organization formed to coordinate revitalization work in the historic downtown district. The CDDA 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 and Tree Lighting. For more information about this event and others sponsored by the CDDA, please call 919-553-5002 or send us an email!

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