CBCA takes the reins of Santa’s carriage

By Gary Carr on November 7, 2018

The clip-clop of hooves will help usher in the holidays in downtown Clayton once again.

Revelers can enjoy free rides in Santa’s carriage, this year sponsored by the Clayton Business and Community Association (CBCA).

The carriage rides are part of the downtown holiday festivities, which get underway on Dec. 1 with the tree-lighting ceremony at The Grove. The celebration begins at 4:30 p.m., with Santa arriving about 6:30 to light the tree.

Mayor Keith Haydon will handle emcee duties, and the children’s chorus from Mt. Diablo Elementary will provide some spirited carols. After the tree is lit, volunteers from Clayton Community Church will serve doughnut holes and hot cider, provided by CBCA.

The tree will be located in the gazebo again, since the new evergreen, recently planted across from the bocce courts, isn’t yet big enough to bear holiday lights and decorations. It will be another year or two before it can bough in.

Santa’s carriage comes back to Clayton after a two-year absence, in part because one of the horses died. This year, the horses and a new carriage will make their way down from Sonora, surely riding in Santa’s trailer.

Tree-lighting chair Debbie Bruno says that Toys for Tots barrels will be placed around The Grove so that Claytonians can share their holiday generosity.

The traditional Dessert with Mrs. Claus is set for 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 8 at Endeavor Hall.  Bruno and Brenda Safreed will be chairing, since Gloria Utley is retiring from the event after decades of service. Loads of thanks go to Utley, but she won’t be “desserting” us.

Bruno also takes over from Utley in heading up the downtown decorations committee. She asks all the helper elves to assemble at 9 a.m. Nov. 17 behind the Museum. Decorating will take until 2 p.m. – or earlier, if enough elves show up.

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