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Christmas Village & Tree Lighting - Clayton, NC

Join us Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 for this Clayton holiday tradition!  

Thousands of people will pack Main Street Thursday, November 30, 2017 to help bring Downtown Clayton alive with the holiday spirit for the 27th 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, now at Horne Square. Make parking easy with shuttles from Clayton High School or the Post Office. The ticket price? Just one non-perishable food item for needy families!

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony – Town Square
Program begins 7:45 p.m. – We aim to light the tree at 8 p.m.! 


Follow Santa Claus and the honorary “Mr. Christmas” James Lipscomb as they ride in a horse-drawn carriage down Main Street to Town Square. The Doggie Costume Contest participants and the Clayton High School Marching band will also help lead everyone to the square at the corner of Main & O'Neil streets. At 7:45 p.m. Mayor Jody McLeod will welcome the crowd and we'll announce the costume winners and the storefront decoration winners! Miss Clayton High School will peforem and then we'll start the countdown to the tree lighting! Don't miss this holiday tradition.  

Mr. Christmas – James Lipscomb

The Clayton Downtown Development Association's 2017 honorary "Mr. Christmas"  is James Lipscomb. Lipscomb is a hometown boy who would grow up to be a Town leader and one of the community's biggest advocates. Lipscomb's mom ran the popular day care and he worked in his dad's community store on Main Street - forever engraining himself in Downtown Clayton, its history and the families and small town businesses that are its backbone. Lipscomb served on Town Council, owns a Downtown Clayton real estate company, serves as President of the Clayton Downtown Development Association and has been instrumental in an exciting rebirth of downtown restaurants, retail and renovations. The town is growing, but as he told our former local paper, he fully believes that newcomers and natives can work together to keep Clayton the same down-home place it's always been for him. Thank you "Mr Christmas!"   

Santa & Ms. Claus – 5:30–7:30 p.m.

This year Santa and Mrs. Clause are slipping duties and spreading out!  Santa Clause is once again at Horne Square! 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! Two trackless trains 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. Mrs. Claus will also be taking photos with her elves at the Main Street Community Garden, but if you want Santa - head to Horne! She's be joined by other fun characters in the garden too! 

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


Hundreds get to 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.

Live Nativity – 5:30–7:30 p.m.


We have to remember the reason for the season!  A live nativity can be found on the open lawn of Sherry’s Signature Cheesecakes, across the street from the historic Wagner House. And yes, they have live animals that don’t mind being pet!


Doggie Christmas Costume Contest & Parade – 6–7:30 p.m. Clayton Chiropractic


This continues to be a popular contest! Contestants should be at Clayton Chiropractic by 6 p.m. for registration! The entry fee of $5 will benefit the RUFF Rescue UR Forever Friend. A small change from last year: crowd judging will begin at 7 p.m. and Most Creative, Most Festive and Best Overall will be judged by the applause of the fans! The parade will begin at 7:30, when the dogs will join Mr. Christmas, Santa, and the marching band and walk to Town Square. Winners of the three categories will be announced at Town Square, and a certificate to claim your prize at  Doggie Do’z pet salon at 113 E First Street, will be awarded at that time! 

Dance & Choral Performances – 5:30–7:00 p.m. 

Children from Clayton’s elementary and middle schools and daycares will provide holiday performances on risers at the corner of Main Street & Smith Street, in the middle of Main Street. 
Dance studios will be performing at the corner of Fayetteville and Main Street. 

Carolers will begin at Town Square at 6 p.m. and be at the steps of the Clayton Chamber of Commerce by 6:30 p.m. These talented carolers are courtesy of the Clayton High School Chorus. 

Horne UMC Handbells & Choir will perform at 229 East Main Street, Blackley’s Printing from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. 

The Clayton Middle School Jazz Band will perform on the stage at Town Square, beginning at 6:20 p.m. and the Clayton High School Marching Band will begin marching down Main Street at 7:30 p.m. signaling for everyone to head to Town Square! 

FREE Shuttles & Clayton Area Ministries (CAM) Holiday Food Drive 5:30- END

4042 Motors is kindly providing TWO shuttles to Town Square. Park at Clayton High School on Fayetteville Street OR at the Post Office on the corner of Front & Central and ride all night.  Ticket price: Just one non-perishable food item to be donated to needy families!  Your donations for the shuttle rides will go to the Clayton Area Ministries Holiday Food Drive. Please donate any food items you can for those families less fortunate this holiday season. For more information call 919-553-5654 or visit

Attention Drivers: Main Street will officially be closed from Smith Street to O’Neil Street from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. for this Christmas Village to be created!

About the Clayton Downtown Development Association


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!