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City of Covington revs up for Christmas season
Lighting of Square set for Nov. 18; ice rink at Legion Field set for return
Covington Lighting of the Square
Organizers of this year’s Lighting of the Square look forward to returning to a resemblance of normal. Last year’s event had to be scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. - photo by File Photo

COVINGTON, Ga. — With Thanksgiving only days away and Christmas just around the corner, the city of Covington is full speed ahead and getting into the holiday spirit.

Next week, Thursday, Nov. 18, the city will hold its annual Lighting of the Square event to officially kick off the holiday season. Festivities are set to begin at 6 p.m. Community Development Director Trey Sanders said it would be a spectacular event for all to enjoy.

“The 2021 Lighting of the Square is going to be the perfect opportunity for a couple things,” Sanders said. “It is a great occasion to usher in the Christmas season and share some time with friends and family while enjoying a magnificent light display on the Square. The Lighting of the Square, and the weeks leading up to Christmas also afford, citizens an opportunity to support our local merchants on the Square. That group of small business owners was hit hard by COVID and can still use all of the support we as a community can give them.”

With the help of the Newton County Arts Association, Sanders there would be musical performances by the Oxford Youth Singers and Oxford Singing Children. Mayor Steve Horton and Newton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Marcello Banes are also expected to make remarks. There will also be a smores station manned by members of the fire department, Sanders said, and a special appearance by Santa Claus.

Sanders said there would be a full closure of the Square for this year’s event, unlike last year, which he said was a “a step in the direction of returning to normal.” Closures will begin as early as 8:45 a.m. when the city’s street department will close Clark Street from Hendrick to Hay. Closer to the event’s start time, full closure of the Square will begin at 4 p.m. and allow vehicles to exit. Following the lighting, the Square will be reopened by 8:30 p.m., but Clark Street may remained closed to break down the stage and setup.

In years past, the event had been accompanied with fireworks, horse-drawn carriage rides, a parade with an after-party, a live nativity scene, a Christmas scavenger hunt and a movie night. In 2019, the Lighting of Downtown Covington was recognized as one of the “Top 10 Tree Lighting Events in Georgia” by Trips to Discover. But in 2020, the event was scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the Lighting of the Square, Sanders said the ice rink would be returning to Legion Field this winter. The tentative opening date was set for Nov. 19 but was subject to change depending on the weather. If it temperatures are unseasonably high, making ice becomes more difficult and in turn, delays the opening. Conyers-based Ice Days will maintain its covered 5,500-square-foot ice rink at Legion Field until Feb. 21, 2022.

The ice rink will be available for all ages to enjoy; however, anyone under the age of 13 years old must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, including prices and hours of operation, visit

Last year, amenities around the ice rink included fire pits, gingerbread house decorating and other family-friendly activities. Sanders said static displays illuminating holiday characters like Santa, reindeer and a snowman would be in place this year for the public to take photos.