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Every year the Fourth of July is a day to celebrate our country's independence. Throughout Newton County, officials have two days packed with activities for the entire family.

This year, thanks to careful planning, it is possible for residents to attend four separate events scattered throughout the county.

Oxford will kick things off with its annual parade beginning at 10 a.m. Boasting a bevy of floats and decorated cars, trucks and motorcycles, the parade route will run-down Emory and Wesley streets and end at Old Church on Fletcher Street.

"It's a small town parade where everyone celebrates who and what we are," said city council member Jim Windham. "The parade is really something special."

Windham said the festivities will go on throughout the day and everyone is welcome to stay as long as they wish.

Later in the day, the Newton County Community Band, directed by T.K. Adams, will perform a one-hour concert on the square. Main Street Covington director Josephine Kelly said the city has worked with Porterdale downtown manager Sandy Fowler and other civic leaders to give county residents a day's worth of activities.

"We have really worked hard with the other cities in the county to schedule events so everyone can go from one thing to another," Kelly said.

The community band will play patriotic orchestral music commemorating the nation's independence. After the encore, residents can travel back to Oxford for even more music and fun.

Closing out the day's events, the City of Covington, Newton County and The Church at Covington will host its annual Fireworks Extravaganza at the church on Ga. Highway 142 in Oxford.

Entertainment will begin at 5 p.m. as the jazz band Drivetime will take the stage in the first of four concerts scheduled throughout the evening. For those who like sounds from the 70s and 80s, Blue Max will perform covers of some of the era's biggest hits followed by the all female country group Broadband.

Several food vendors including Chik-fil-A, Checker's, Blimpie and Shane's Rib Shack will be selling food during the evening.

The final musical act, Twisted Hip, will perform disco and R&B music after the fireworks show which starts at 9:30 p.m. rain or shine. The Extravaganza will go until 11 p.m.

Capping off the Independence Day weekend, Porterdale will host its Patriot's Day celebration on July 5.

Local resident and Adopt-A-Horse founder Dennis Horian will be on hand with horses for children to ride and vendors will line the south side of Ga. Highway 81 in downtown, selling food and arts and crafts. There will be plenty of music as well.

Cruisn' will headline the event, playing oldies, country and R&B favorites and Fiddlin' John Carson Productions will play into the night. Both shows will be at the train depot where the old boarding platform will double as a stage.

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