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Hot summer nights on the Covington Square
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With the summer already in boiling temperatures, basking in a smoldering live concert seems quite appropriate. Last Friday, Arts Association in Newton County and co-sponsor Main Street Covington began their annual summer concert series on the square in downtown Covington.

Since its founding in 1989, the Newton County Arts Association has broadened its base with numerous programs that have allowed them to collaborate closer with the community. Some of these programs include Oxford Singing Children, Creative Kids Camp, Covington Regional Ballet Company, outreach programs within the local community, the Newton County Community Band and a Visual Arts Initiative partnering with the Newton County Schools.

Buncie Lanners, director of the Arts Association, is excited about the concert series this summer. It began with 650 people attending the Infinity Show Band’s performance on June 11. The 70s and 80s funk band performed covers from Earth, Wind & Fire and Kool & the Gang.

"It was so much fun. Great music, great people — it was a fun night," Lanners said.

Here is the remaining list of upcoming shows:

July 9 — Emerald Rose, a well known Atlanta Celtic band that plays both traditional and modern Celtic music. Playing at events like Dragon*Con have helped the band develop a strong Atlanta following.

Aug. 13 — Back by popular demand, Brook Honeycutt and Friends are a local band that rocked the series last year. Honeycutt has quite a career that includes stints as backup vocals in one of Eric Clapton’s bands. The band mostly plays blues.

On the same date, the organization will also showcase "A Night for the Arts," an open house event that allows visitors to stroll through Newton County’s art galleries, dance and music studios.

"We will publish a list of those studios that will be open, so people will be free to visit these galleries and studios before and after the show," Lanners said.

Sept. 10 — The headlining performer of the series, Francine Reed is a beloved area artist and considered an icon of the Atlanta music scene. She’s a classic blues singer that has played with notable musicians like Lyle Lovett and billed with acts like Miles Davis, Smokey Robinson and Etta James.

"I hope everybody comes out and takes advantage of the free event. With the economy as hard as it is for a lot people, it’s tough for them to afford entertainment. And this is an opportunity to experience good, quality entertainment that’s free for all. This will also allow people to experience the community as well," Lanners said.

The concerts will be held on the second Friday night of each month of the summer. Admission is free of charge. People are encouraged to bring their own blankets, chairs and food. The events are suitable for children of all ages. Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m.

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