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Posted: October 29, 2013 9:00 p.m.

Five seasons of Vampire fun

Gabriel Khouli/The Covington News/

Festivals have been a fixture of both 'The Vampire Diaries' and the downtown Covington square since the hit TV show's inception in 2009, starting with a parade for the Season 1 finale.

The fictional town of Mystic Falls, Va., hosts as many festivals and events as the real city of Covington, which has played the part of Mystic Falls for five years for the popular TV show "The Vampire Diaries."

At least once a season, Covington’s town square is transformed with a different theme. Here’s a look back at a few of the highlights:

Founder’s Day, Season 1 — Mystic Falls celebrated the 150th anniversary of its founding in the Season 1 finale, which included a memorable parade around the square in 2010 and spectacular fireworks over the Historic Courthouse. As for the episode, well, season finales have become known for dramatic deaths and twists, and there was no lack of either on the square.

"Gone with the Wind" movie night, Season 2 — Mystic Falls hosted a movie night on the square and elected to screen Southern classic "Gone with the Wind," which made for a neat, real-world connection, as The Twelve Oaks Bed and Breakfast opened its doors in Covington just down the road in late 2012.

Night of Illumination, Season 3 — Though it seems like a bad idea in a town filled with vampires, Mystic Falls residents apparently decided to turn off all their lights and light paper lanterns to illuminate the town during the Halloween season.

Winter Wonderland, Season 4 — Giant candy canes, Christmas trees and fake snow transformed Covington’s square into a holiday hotspot a couple of months early by Covington’s calendar (though not that early based on how quickly holidays are promoted these days; am I right?).

The show’s producers even donated the decorations for Covington to use as well, one of many gifts the show has made over the years (the mini-Historic Courthouse replica being one of the most awesome).

End of Summer BBQ, Season 5 — Season 5 kicked off in true Southern style, with a barbecue cookout on the square. As main character Elena Gilbert heads off to Whitmore College (played, in part, by our own Oxford College) for a whole new series of dramatic storylines, craziness continues in Mystic Falls with yet another mayor’s death. Luckily, vampires have caused no deaths of Covington mayors; current Mayor Ronnie Johnston is even turning the Mystic Grill building into a real restaurant.

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