The annual Clayton Harvest Festival, coming up Sept. 15-19, has a new name and a new look this year.
The new name is Clayton Harvest & Music Festival. The new look includes live music at various locations, an additional event stage, a petting zoo and a beer garden. But, one thing that should remain the same is the huge crowds the Festival brings downtown. Last year's Festival attracted more than 18,000 people, and even larger crowds are expected this year.
"The Festival is always the biggest event of the year, and we look forward to it all year long," said Mayor Jody McLeod. "This is shaping up to be the best one we've ever had."
The carnival comes to town Wednesday, Sept. 15 ushering in a week of games, music, the annual Clayton Idol competition, an antique car show and the huge Saturday Arts & Crafts Fair downtown.
"The Clayton Harvest and Music festival is a place where you can stroll and be happy, where you can listen to music, look at art, find a one of a kind masterpiece, catch up with old friends and enjoy traditional carnival games and rides," said Festival Committee Chairman James Lipscomb."Our focus for this and future festivals is to promote inclusiveness and celebrating the talents and diversity of our community. We have retained all the beloved features of past festivals and added several new venues."
A new addition this year that's expected to draw a crowd is the Gospel Sing Friday evening which features music from eight local congregations. This year's Festival will also feature a hot dog eating contest, pet trick demonstrations presented by the Johnston County Animal Protection League, a martial arts demonstration and beer and wine gardens at the East and West stages.
Though not officially part of the Festival schedule, beach music greats The Embers will be in concert Thursday evening, Sept. 16 at Town Square as part of the Town Square Concert Series. The Coffee Mill and Flipside will feature both indoor and outdoor performances on Saturday, Sept. 18, adding to the abundance of musical options.
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