We are excited! After two long years, our downtown events are all finally returning thanks to the dedicated work and planning of numerous volunteers.
Since 2020, we have endured month-after-month of the shelter-in-place disappointment of postponed events.
This has been devastating for the Clayton Business and Community Association (CBCA), the organization responsible for raising funds to benefit local schools and the community, the local restaurants who thrive on the patrons attending downtown events, and the morale of our community overall.
Here are some of the events you can look forward to this year.
First up, the CBCA 25th Annual Art & Wine Festival returns to downtown Clayton on April 23-24. When the idea of the festival was originally pitched years ago, the organizers told CBCA to expect to be in the hole. Instead, it profited just shy of $50,000. In 2019, that figure has doubled to $100,000, all to benefit our community.
This year’s festival will feature a premium wine booth as well as other wine and beer options, live music, and festivities for all ages.
CBCA is accepting applications for arts and crafts, food on the street, and food court vendors through March 22. Vendors can apply at https://claytoncbca.org/cbca-events/clayton-art-and-wine-festival/.
The summer evening “Concerts in the Grove” series kicks off with the music of Fundamentals, on May 7. Former Mayor and concert promoter Howard Geller started these concerts in 2008 after receiving funds from both the city of Clayton and the CBCA. Donations collected at each event have helped finance future concerts. For a complete list of this season’s concert line-up, turn to the Calendar on page 5.
Two more traditional events return in July. On July 4, we are looking forward to the infamous Kiddie Parade to lead the Independence Day Parade. Then later that week, barbecue lovers should come out for our annual Clayton BBQ Cook-off, July 9-10.
Pro pitmasters and backyard chefs will compete for cash prizes. Special honors will be given to event founder, Rory Richmond, who passed away in August 2020. Rory and his team took this event from a one-day cookoff on the patio of the Clayton Club with a few local BBQ Meisters to its current place on the national stage, sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society.
Finally, we can look forward to the Clayton Oktoberfest, October 1-2. Our beerfest has been a San Francisco Bay Area premier Oktoberfest since 2002. It features an authentic German Biergarten, a large carnival, food court, and arts and crafts vendors.
These events are special to Clayton, not only for their successful fundraising, but also for the jubilant bonding of friends and neighbors, and the unifying teamwork of over 250 community volunteers and organizers who make them possible.
Remember, attending these activities supports our local businesses. I am looking forward to once again hearing the buzz of activity downtown and meeting more residents of our wonderful town. Please feel free to contact me.
More details about these events and other activities sponsored by the CBCA can be found on their website https://claytoncbca.org/.