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Dixie League opening ceremonies scheduled
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The public is invited to attend the opening ceremonies of the Dixie Boys Baseball World Series on the Covington square this Friday night. The ceremonies will include a live band, light shows and a presentation of the teams.

The evening's festivities kickoff with a concert by the Statesboro Blues Band at 7 p.m. on the square. Featuring a four-piece ensemble of guitar, bass, keyboard and drums, the group plays a mixture of oldies, Motown, soul, rock, blues and funk, according to their Web site.

The opening ceremony will begin at 8:30 p.m. with the recognition of local elected officials and representatives from the Dixie Boys World Series. Each of the 12 teams competing in the tournament will also be recognized with their own entrance song and a computerized light show.

"We're really excited about it. It's going to high energy," said Clara Deemer, director of tourism for the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce.

Newton County Clerk Jackie Smith will sing "God Bless America" and Mary Edwards will sing the national anthem.

Free watermelon, peanuts and popcorn will be provided by organizers of the event who include Main Street Covington, the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce and the Newton County Recreation Department.

"We want to encourage people to bring something to sit on," Deemer said. "The stage will be elevated."

Traffic around the square will be blocked off on Friday, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The event is expected to end at 9:30 p.m.

 Though Covington has hosted the Dixie Boys World Series three times in the past, this is the first time the opening ceremony will be held on the square, according to Tommy Hailey, director of the Newton County Recreation Department.

The public is encouraged to attend the series games which will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at City Pond Park. The Newton County All Star Team will take the field for the first time at 7 p.m. Saturday.