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Posted: November 19, 2013 9:29 p.m.

'Magical Lights' on the square to flip the switch

Covington will kick off the holiday season and light up the night at tomorrow evening’s "Magical Lights of Christmas’’ opening ceremony downtown on the square.

With the addition of $40,000 in new lights, the entire square will be ringed with lights for the 33 nights of "Magical Lights.’’ That’s a total of 43 buildings, 54 trees and more wattage than the mind can fathom.

Thursday night’s opening ceremony will begin around 6:15 p.m. with a performance by the Newton County Community Band. A brief, pared-back ceremony will start at 6:30 p.m., emceed by Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston and featuring the Oxford Singing Children and an appearance by Santa Claus. The lighting of the square is expected to take place around 7 p.m.

Thursday night’s event also kicks off a series of special Thursdays running through December and including:

• Later shopping on the square (retail and food businesses will stay open until 8 p.m. Thursdays), and sidewalk vendors will offer Christmas wares during the activities.

• Santa will be available for photos at Ramsey’s Furniture annex; photos are sponsored by The Covington News this year.

• A "Find the Downtown Dog" contest for children; children will get a card at participating downtown businesses and will have to find the dog hidden in stores and then drop their cards in a special Main Street drop box, which will enter the children in a raffle for various prizes.

• Various local groups will provide their voices in Caroling performances.

Horse-drawn carriage rides will only be available Nov. 21 this year, not on subsequent Thursdays.

New this year, Santa will also be on the square Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for photos up until Dec. 21. The Covington Lions Club’s annual Christmas parade is Dec. 7; Santa will be on the square after the parade wraps up.

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