Covington’s Independence Day celebration is being moved to Saturday, July 6 because of expected rain.
The Covington City Council voted unanimously Monday to move the celebration to Saturday, making a quick decision to give food vendors and other participants time to plan for the reschedule.
City officials met Monday afternoon and initially wanted to wait until noon Wednesday to make an official decision, but two downtown food vendors asked the city to make a decision sooner to give them time to change food order and staff schedules.
Mayor Ronnie Johnston said he was told up to half the musical performers may not be able to attend Saturday because of schedule conflicts; however, the council agreed a smaller celebration was preferable to the high likelihood of no celebration.
The National Weather Service is predicting an 90 percent chance of rain with possible thunderstorms Thursday with a 70 percent chance of rain Thursday night.
However, by Saturday, the chance of rain declines to 40 percent during the day and 20 percent at night.
Deputy City Manager Billy Bouchillon said the staff wanted to wait because of how unpredictable the weather forecast had already been that day, but the council followed the lead of other big events in the Atlanta area and preemptively rescheduled. Porterdale is also rescheduling its celebration and Fireworks to Saturday.
The early decision may also give time for other musical performers to be scheduled; the fireworks and food and other vendors should not be affected.
In addition, the city decided this year that residents are not allowed to bring tents or other canopies to the event, because they can block the view of other attendees.