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Covington officially unveils mural on Pace Street highlighting film history
Downtown Covington mural
City and county officials gather on Pace Street to celebrate the completion of a mural painted by Tamara Haase that highlights the area’s vibrant film history. - photo by Taylor Beck

COVINGTON, Ga. — City and county officials gathered along Pace Street on Thursday for the official reveal of a new mural painted downtown that pays homage to the area’s rich film history.

Featured on the side of Golden Fleece Lodge No. 6, the mural highlights the many renowned movies and television series filmed in Covington, such as “The Dukes of Hazzard,” “In the Heat of the Night,” “The Vampire Diaries” and, most recently, “Sweet Magnolias.”

“I’m not an artist, I’m not even a critic,” Covington Mayor Steve Horton said before reading a proclamation. “But I know when I see something that looks good, and that’s great.”

The mayor also commended the mural’s detail, calling the artwork “life-like.”

Horton cited several reasons why it was important for the area’s rich film history should be recognized and celebrated.

Since 1954, more than 165 television and movie productions have taken place in Covington and/or Newton County. Three of those productions have won Academy Awards, including Best Support Actress, “My Cousin Vinny;” Best Short Film, “The Accountant;” and Best Original Song, “Selma.”

More importantly, Horton said, the film industry has directly impacted the area on a financial level.

Each year, the city and county host an average of nearly 50,000 visitors each year, and about 85% of those visitors are in town to see “their favorite filming locations.” 

While here, those visitors are spending money.

“Data from the Georgia Department of Economic Development & U.S. Travel Association estimate direct tourist spending in 2019 for Covington/Newton County to be almost $130 million,” Horton stated.

Local artist Tamara Haase, of Georgia Brushstrokes, Inc., painted the mural over a span of several weeks. 

Tourism Coordinator DJ Waller said the Downtown Tourism and Hospitality Board funded the cost of the mural.

City Manager Scott Andrews said there were plans to have more murals painted throughout the city, where permitted, as part of the city’s renewed focus on beautification through public art initiatives. Another art project ongoing within the city is the painting of fire hydrants.