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Twilights event brightens park
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Members of the Friends of Newton Parks are inviting all to the second Twilights at Chimney Park event from 5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6.

The park will come to life with lighting displays, carolers and delicious treats.

The space behind the Newton County Public Library has been designated Chimney Park, and will eventually be a state-of-the-art park for all ages and abilities. The park’s intended all-ability design is what attracted Jean Austin, Newton County School System special education instructional coach, to the board of Friends of Newton Park. Austin is the project chair of this year’s Twilights event.

"We’re just trying to get people to the park so they’ll understand what the park is all about," Austin said.

Friends of Newton Parks said this effort is part of the larger national "No Child Left Inside" movement sparked by Richard Louv’s book "Last Child in the Woods." Louv contends that more time spent indoors decreases children’s environmental awareness as well as leads to childhood obesity, attention deficit disorder and depression.

To raise awareness about this movement and the local park, Friends of Newton Parks organize several signature events throughout the year. Twilights is a free event because FNP simply wants people to visit the area.

Several local businesses and civic groups will create lighting displays for the event. For example Newton Electric purchased large, lights-filled globes to hang around the park, Mosley Electric has created a firefly tree, the Covington/Conyers Bicycle Club will adorn bicycles with lights along the future bike trail and the Southern Heartland Art Guild has designed a lighted Slinky.

Several school choruses will perform holiday music at the event, while other school children have been asked to create ornaments for the trees with all-natural material.

Members of the Covington Woman’s Club will greet guests, the Covington Pilot Club will present a puppet show, and the Oxford Lions Club will serve popcorn while the Covington Lions Club will serve s’mores.

The Heartland Women’s Club has created a lollypop path to the storytelling area where Library Children’s Director Carol Durusau will tell festive tales. A Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center employee will bring a nocturnal creature to show to park guests.

The Covington Garden Club will decorate the arbor at the entrance of the park and the Satsuki Garden Club will make natural ornaments with the children who attend the event. The Heartland Woman’s Club also will have fresh greenery for sale.

Several businesses, groups and individuals donated items to be used at the event such as trees from Berry’s Tree Farm, fabric from OCHO and pagodas from Ed and Claudia Minge.

While music, food and activities will only take place on Dec. 6, the lighting features will be on display from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Thursday until Christmas.