Square’s cel­e­bra­tion

Cov­ing­ton gets ready for an­nual July 4th on the Square

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - KAYLA ROBINS krobins@cov­news.com

Red, white and blue will soon be plas­tered across down­town Cov­ing­ton as New­ton County res­i­dents are gear­ing up for the na­tion’s birth­day.

The an­nual In­de­pen­dence in the Park Mu­sic Fest will kick off at noon on July 4, with mu­sic, food, ac­tiv­i­ties and booths from lo­cal businesses of­fered to res­i­dents and vis­i­tors.

An­drea Smith, a Main Street board mem­ber, said the goal was to step the event up a notch from pre­vi­ous years by do­ing more fire­works, hav­ing more ven­dors and get­ting more spon­sors than ever be­fore.

“The fun people have had in past years, they’re go­ing to have more,” Smith said.

Tak­ing feed­back from last year, Smith said she and the rest of the Main Street board, which is or­ga­niz­ing the event, aimed to make it more en­joy­able.

To com­bat the heat, a wa­ter slide big enough for adults will be among bounce houses for kids. The Cov­ing­ton Fire Depart­ment is spon­sor­ing a dunk­ing booth, and city of­fi­cials have agreed to be dunked. Among the nota­bles to take their chances in the booth are Mayor Ron­nie John­ston, County Com­mis­sion Chair Keith El­lis, City Man­ager Leigh Anne Knight, Cov­ing­ton/ New­ton County Cham­ber of Com­merce Pres­i­dent Hunter Hall and other com­mis­sion­ers. There will also be a mist­ing sta­tion.

More food ven­dors — and the fire depart­ment reg­u­lat­ing them — should pre­vent long lines, Smith said.

Mu­sic will be go­ing on through­out the day be­gin­ning around 2 p.m., with a sched­uled 9:40 p.m. fire­work show and “af­ter party” street dance un­til 11:30 p.m. This, Smith said, should help al­le­vi­ate traf­fic con­ges­tion if there is no mass ex­o­dus im­me­di­ately af­ter the fire­works end.

“We tried to work at some of the chal­lenges and take ad­van­tage of some op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Smith said.

Mys­tic Grill will have its rooftop bar open to of­fer a view of the Square and fire­works.

T.K. Adams, the long­time com­mu­nity band di­rec­tor, will be in his fi­nal per­for­mance be­fore re­tire­ment while cel­e­brat­ing his 80th birth­day.

“This is truly a com­mu­nity-spon­sored event,” Smith said. “Main Street is fa­cil­i­tat­ing it, but it’s re­ally be­ing

funded by the com­mu­nity. This is what this na­tion was built on. We’re a cap­i­tal­ist demo­cratic repub­lic, and businesses come to­gether to thrive and cel­e­brate.”

As a mark of com­mu­nity in­volve­ment, Gen­eral Mills is cel­e­brat­ing its 25th an­niver­sary of be­ing in Cov­ing­ton and part­nered with Main Street for the July 4 party.

Smith said Gen­eral Mills will have a large pres­ence on the Square. Booths will be giv­ing away free sam­ples. The Trix Rab­bit and Buzz the Bee from Honey Nut Chee­rios will be roam­ing the Square, and the gen­eral man­ager will speak dur­ing the day to ex­press his grat­i­tude for the com­mu­nity, ac­cord­ing to Smith.

“We are hon­ored to call Cov­ing­ton and New­ton County our home. It is with the great­est of pride and deep grat­i­tude that we humbly sup­port the City of Cov­ing­ton’s 4th of July cel­e­bra­tion as we all come to­gether to honor our na­tion,” said Mark Bi­ble, GM plant man­ager.

Main Street Di­rec­tor Velinda Whee­les said lo­cal businesses will show­case their work at an arts and crafts area.

Al­though the ma­jor idea of this event is to pro­mote Cov­ing­ton’s businesses and econ­omy, Whee­les said people can bring a pic­nic to the Square if they want.

“I’m ex­tremely ex­cited. I feel like this is go­ing to be an amaz­ing day,” Whee­les said.

There will be des­ig­nated hand­i­capped park­ing avail­able and a shut­tle – most likely the Holly Trol­ley – to bring people to and from the park­ing lots.

Whee­les said this event, her first big-scale event as Cov­ing­ton’s Main Street di­rec­tor, will hope­fully be an ex­am­ple of what the fu­ture can hold for the city and its res­i­dents.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.