Your Wedding Day Has Arrived!

Plan Ahead So You Can Enjoy Your Special Day

You have spent the better part of a year or more planning a summer 2015 wedding. Now that the big day is almost here, you will want to be sure that everything goes as close to “exactly-as-planned” as possible. The following are a few reminders Clayton Center Wedding Aug 18 A.J. Dunlap Photography 13of last-minute things to consider. Having a plan in place to deal with these details will allow you to enjoy your day as much as your guests will.

The bride and groom will begin the day early, and you will each need to go over the following details. Is everyone’s clothing in place and ready? Are the flowers for boutonnieres and bouquets in place? Did someone in the wedding party (the best man, the maid or matron of honor) remember the rings? Is transportation arranged and ready to go? If the ceremony and reception are in different locations, does everyone have directions?

Many couples find that having a designated person, even if he or she is not a “wedding planner,” is a good idea to handle any last minute decisions, emergencies and/or contingencies that may crop up once the day begins. It’s a good idea for this point person to know who the primary contact is for the church or chapel, reception venue, florist, caterer and photographer/videographer.

Couples should pick someone they trust, and give them clear directions on how to resolve any conflicts. This might include having access to some cash or credit cards in case last minute, un-contracted or unexpected expenses pop up. The bride and groom will have extra peace of mind knowing that someone’s handling things, as they focus on having a fun and memorable wedding.

You also should consider how to end your day – your reception will not go on forever! You will want to be sure that your designated person or event planner has clear directions on how and when to bring the event to the end. You may want to have information available for rides for people who might have had too much to drink. You also want to have a ride at the ready to get bride and groom home safely. And don’t forget the gifts. Someone will need to make sure that the gift box/gift table is cleared, secured and ready to go home with the happy couple.

Click here for information about renting event space at The Clayton Center.


Town Square Concert Series Opens This Evening

dda concert

The Town Square Concert Series, sponsored by the Clayton Downtown Development Association (CDDA), kicks off this Thursday evening, May 21, with a performance by Jack The Radio. Activities begin at 6 PM when opening act – local singer/songwriter Jacob Lutz – takes the stage.

The series continues on the third Thursday of every month from May through September. The featured bands start at 7:00 PM sharp and play until 9:00 PM. The Clayton Town Square is located at 110 W. Main Street in downtown Clayton.

All of the Town Square Concert Series events are free. So plan to head into town and enjoy some great music under the summer stars. Be sure to bring your lawn chairs and blankets, but please leave your coolers at home!  Soft drinks and water will be available for purchase from the two food trucks featured at each performance. Adult beverages also will be for sale from Deep River Brewery and Wine On Main.

Visit the Town Square Concert Series web page for more detailed information on the bands and the complete concert schedule.

Johnston County Chorale Performs In Spring Concert On May 9


The Johnston County Chorale presents its 2015 spring concert on Saturday, May 9, at 7:00 PM at The Clayton Center. The theme of this year’s performance is Cinemagic — Hollywood’s Greatest Movie Classics.chorale-2015

The show will feature a bluegrass band, the Johnston Community College Jazz Ensemble, West Johnston High School Chorus and Disney characters through Wishes & Wands Events.

The Chorale, which was first organized in Johnston County in 1977, has been performing for more than 30 years. Today singers of varying backgrounds and abilities, including high school and college students from Johnston and Wake counties and surrounding areas perform with the group.

The Johnston County Chorale typically presents two concerts a year — the spring show here at The Clayton Center and a holiday show held in Smithfield. Tickets for the May 9 show are $15 plus sales tax and fees. Tickets are on sale online or through The Clayton Center Box Office. All seats for this show are reserved.

Scene Stealer Of The Year Recognized At Volunteer Appreciation Event

Kathy Ellen stole the show on Thursday evening when she was named The Clayton Center’s Scene Stealers Volunteer of the Year for 2015 during the Center’s annual Volunteer Appreciation get together held at Rainbow Lanes.

ClaytonCenterVolofYear15Kathy was recognized for her volunteer efforts during the Palladian Series, The Clayton Center’s professional performing arts series. She has volunteered as a Scene Stealer since the 2010 Palladian Series.

The Scene Stealers are a dedicated group of volunteers who work as greeters, ushers and ticket takers, and pass out programs and sell concessions during events at the Clayton venue.

The Scene Stealer of the Year – chosen each year by the staff of The Clayton Center – is recognized for a commitment to ensuring that our patrons have an enjoyable experience when they attend an event at The Clayton Center.

In addition to receiving an award of her own, Kathy’s name will be engraved on the Scene Stealers perpetual plaque that hangs outside the box office.

The Scene Stealers group was established in The Clayton Center’s 2004 season. Individuals interested in volunteering with the Scene Stealers can call Nikki Dyke at 919-553-3152, ext. 2, or send an e-mail to



Town of Clayton Customer Service Department Begins Office Renovation

If you have been to The Clayton Cenclaytoncentercustomerservicemoveter to visit Town Hall in the past few days, you have probably noticed some new signs and traffic patterns inside the building. The Town of Clayton’s Customer Service Department has moved into temporary space on Floor G2 – that’s the floor that features the beautiful “Clayton Patchwork” mural.

Clayton residents who need to pay their utilities bills, secure a business license or complete an application for utilities services can now visit Customer Service in room GS 223.

The existing Customer Service space located on Floor G1 is undergoing a renovation that will allow staff to enhance the level of service provided to customers. The renovation is estimated to take about three months to complete. Signs are currently displayed throughout the building to guide customers to the correct location.

Other changes included in the renovation include the relocation of the offices of the Deputy Town Manager, Information Technology Services and the Public Information to Floor G1. Additionally, the Town’s Finance Department will move to the Cultural Arts side of the building in a space created on Floor C3 in the Jackson Builders Room.

Please feel free to ask a Town or Clayton Center staff member for directions if you need assistance during the renovation.


Dance Recitals, Concerts & More On The Schedule This Spring

New Season To Be Announced This Summer

Clayton Center Wedding June 22 Ashley Blevins Photography 04

Spring is the perfect time to have a wedding at The Clayton Center, a premier event venue in Johnston County.

The 2014-15 Palladian Series closed last Saturday with an awesome performance by Jeremy Davis and the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra, topping off an exciting and successful season here at The Clayton Center.

We are currently putting the finishing touches on next season – which will open with the incomparable Annie Moses Band in October and end with 2015 Grammy Award winner Mike Farris in April. The full schedule will be announced this summer.

Until then, we will stay busy with our spring rentals. Weddings, business meetings and special events will occupy the conference center side of the building, while end-of-the-year school programs, dance recitals and spring concerts will keep the auditorium in use every weekend from now through the beginning of June. The Clayton Center is the perfect Johnston County venue to hold just about any event.

One of the largest spring events held at The Clayton Center is the annual Johnston County Chorale concert, scheduled for Saturday, May 9, at 7 PM. The theme of this year’s concert is Cinemagic – Hollywood’s Greatest Movie Classics. Tickets are $15 and are on sale online and through the box office.

“Fabulous” Big Band To Close Palladian Series


Meet your next two best friends – Jeremy Davis and Clay Johnson – along with their fiery hot big band, The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra.

All across America, audiences are falling in love with these two sophisticated Southern gentleman and the high-energy show that is Jeremy Davis & The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra. Along with the greatest songs, the best original arrangements and phenomenal musicianship, these two bring their rich friendship and charm to the stage.  Fashioned in the style and swagger of the legendary “Rat Pack” entertainers, Davis & Johnson are putting their own stamp on the Great American songbook. Their performances are filled with the timeless classics, yet graced with a touch of Motown, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Elvis and more.

The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra is a Big Band for a new generation, offering a freshness and relevance that speaks to jazz lovers of all ages.  Jeremy Davis and The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra appear at The Clayton Center on Saturday, April 11, at 8 PM. Tickets are $30, reserved seating.

Holiday Closing

The Clayton Center box office, as well as the offices of The Clayton Center and the Town of Clayton, will be closed on Friday, April 3, in observance of the Easter holiday. Tickets to upcoming events, including the April 11 concert by Jeremy Davis and the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra and the May 9 spring concert by the Johnston County Chorale, will be available online during this time.

Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library and the Clayton Community Center also will be closed.

Art On Display

If you haven’t had a chance to stop by and see the artwork on display in the Main Lobby gallery of The Clayton Center this month, there’s still time. The exhibit, presented by Clayton Visual Arts, will be open through Tuesday, March 31.


Magical Joy’ by Kate Lagaly

The March display showcases the work of members of the Raleigh-Durham chapter of the Colored Pencil Society as well as by members of Clayton Visual Arts. The exhibit is open for viewing weekdays during The Clayton Center’s regular business hours.

The Clayton Center has partnered with Clayton Visual Arts to house the monthly art exhibit since the building opened 12 years ago. CVA curates the exhibit along with an annual exhibition featuring Clayton High School students. They also sponsor the annual Art Faire juried competition in September and a juried poster contest every two years in June.

The next exhibit will go on display on April 1. A meet the artists reception typically is held on the first Thursday of  each month.

The Town of Clayton has embraced the use of public spaces as locations for the display of art. In addition to the Main Lobby gallery, the second floor landing of the Town Hall side of The Clayton Center also features the Town’s first-ever public art project, an incredibly colorful mural of Town scenes called “Clayton Patchwork.” Beloved and long-time local artist Dorothy Demboski spent weeks perfecting the 10X10 foot mural and unveiled it in 2010.

A mural at the Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library, the downtown sculpture trail, and local parks and greenways also provide outlets for public art to be enjoyed by the community. More information about the Town of Clayton’s Public Art Program, visit the Town of Clayton’s web site. Information about Clayton Visual Arts can be found at

Relive Your Beatles Memories With “Yesterday & Today”

If you think you know all the words to every Beatles’ song, think again. You will be hard pressed to rival the McGuigan Brothers – Billy, Matt and Ryan. The McGuigans and their band spent six years rehearsing and perfecting the entire Beatles catalogue – all 230 songs – and they are prepared to perform ANY one of them EVERY night, note for note and in perfect harmony.smaller-The%20McGuigan%20Brothers

They can prove it to you this Friday evening, March 20, when they perform as part of the 2014-2015 Palladian Series. The show – Yesterday & Today: An Interactive Beatles Experience – begins at 8 PM.

In this spectacular show, you help to choose the playlist. Audience members can request their favorite Beatles’ songs prior to the show and again at intermission. You can just jot down the song title, along with a brief sentence or two about why the song is important to you, and the boys will take it from there.

Billy McGuigan, producer and lead talent in three national hit shows, developed the live request format for Yesterday & Today, complete with the requirement that all the band members memorize and be able to play on a second’s notice all 200-plus songs in the anthology. But, he says, it’s not your typical request show.

“Along with a request, we ask for the reason behind it. We also chat a little with the person who made the request, which makes the show interesting and interactive,” he said.

Billy and his brothers were influenced by their Dad, who would entertain the boys with his guitar and his love of the Beatles. “My Dad left me a great legacy…the love of music and the desire to share it in a way that makes people laugh, dance, smile, and remember.” And he plans to do just that on Friday night.