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When you see the word BRAG it might make you think of the military as in Fort Bragg, which is located in North Carolina.

But when you hear or see the word BRAG here in Covington/Newton County it means the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia, which will start right here in Oxford on June 8 and end on St. Simmons Island a week later. Thanks to the efforts of the Tourism Advisory Council of the Chamber of Commerce for the fifth time since 1989 the world famous ride will originate from Newton County.

This world class event will bring more than 1,000 riders and their families to our area starting on June 7.

These visitors and their families will pack our hotels, eat at our dining establishments and take in the beauty that is Newton County.

Thanks to the folks at Oxford College many will camp out and stay in the dorms located on the campus.

The BRAG committee and the chamber invite local residents to join them on the night of June 8 on the Covington square. There will be entertainment and bike decorating contests.

Bring your lawn chairs, enjoy the ambiance of the square and have a great time under the stars in downtown Covington.

The BRAG committee estimates that more than $100,000 a day will be spent in our area while this group is here.

We might suggest that the businesses in our area with marquees use them to welcome our visitors. If you're out and about on the 7 and the 8, take a couple of minutes to welcome the riders and their families.

Here is a chance for all of us to show why the hospitality of Newton County residents is world renowned.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be doing a series of stories on this great event watch for it in the paper and on our Web site at