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Posted: July 2, 2013 7:54 p.m.

Travis: Glad fireworks are back in downtwon

Editor’s note: Due to weather forecasts, Covington’s Fourth of July celebration will take place on Saturday, July 6, this year.

My Macon granddaughters are with me this week. We have been out to eat at their favorite Mexican restaurant. We have been to the grocery store and bought gallons of chocolate milk and orange drink. We have bought cookies and various cereals I didn’t know existed.

We have bought our own Mexican cheese dip and corn chips and dripped that cheese all over my kitchen table. We even bought fried chicken from Kroger, and the nice lady, seeing me with four hungry granddaughters, answered our pleas and gave us a bag of chicken that was 90 percent legs.

Bless you, from the bottom of my heart. You do not know how grateful I am.

Tomorrow we will go to the cabin and my husband will cook, and my Macon daughter and her husband will join us, as will my other daughter and her family. We will have hamburgers and hot dogs.

I confess I love hot dogs; a little charred, please, with mustard and sweet relish. Chopped onions can be added, but nothing else.

The grandchildren will madly ride the golf cart up and down the long dirt driveway and dream that they are all grown up.
The children will light sparklers, with their parents’ supervision. If my Atlanta nephew joins us, we may even have more fireworks. But despite all the excitement — well, maybe excitement is too strong a word — we will be sure to be back at my home before dusk.

I am so, so happy that the Fourth of July fireworks are back on the square. I think the first city fireworks were shot off on the railroad tracks, or near them, behind Newton Plaza. Traffic was a mess as everyone tried to get in a good position to see the spectacular.

People brought folding chairs and sat on the lawn at Newton Federal Bank. But we would leave the car at home and walk to the top of the hill next to the city water works on Williams Street, just down from Ficquett. We had a perfect view of the fireworks. Actually, we could see them from my driveway, but a few trees were in the way. When they were over, we could walk home quickly and beat all the traffic.

I am a little hazy on my memories, but I think the Covington City Fire Department decided that shooting them from that place was too dangerous. Or maybe it was just the traffic. I don’t remember.

The fireworks were moved to The Church at Covington on Ga. Highway 142 in Oxford. The church was generous and offered a lot of parking. During the years the fireworks were at the church, it offered food, entertainment and children’s games, all with a patriotic theme. I never felt the need to see the fireworks while they were at the church.

The square also had activities, although there were no fireworks. There was always a concert by the Covington Community Band and usually other groups as well. But as festive as the powers-that-be tried to make the square, it wasn’t the same without fireworks.

Then there was a least one year when the city of Covington had no fireworks at all. It was just recently, in the midst of the economic downturn, and the city decided fireworks were too expensive. And expensive I am sure they are.

But, again, it was not July 4 without those booms and the Ahhs of the spectators.

Wonder of all wonders, the fireworks display is again downtown and has been for the last several years. Now the events on the square can coordinate with the fireworks display.

And my grandchildren and the rest of my family have now resumed the tradition we had to abandon so many years ago. Now we walk to Ficquett to get a clear view of the fireworks.

In fact, some of us walk, and some of us, including wimpy grandmamma, ride the golf cart. We load the cart up with bottles of water, blankets for sitting on, and, of course, the inevitable iThings so my granddaughters can text each other while standing right next to each other.

Thanks, city of Covington. You have made my family happy.

Paula Travis is a retired teacher from the Newton County School System. She can be reached at ptravis@covnews.com.

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