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Tickets available for Taste of Newton
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Several of Covington’s finest restaurateurs will gather in the Porterdale Mill Lofts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday for the county’s first ever Taste of Newton.

Tickets are $25 and include free food samples, two alcoholic drinks and entrance into gift raffles; tickets can be purchased from participating restaurants or the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce. Local musical group Sweet Harmony will be performing at the event.

The food festival and business expo puts a new spin on the chamber’s Buy Local campaign, which seeks to support local businesses and keep sales tax dollars in Newton County. September is Buy Local month.

According to the chamber, for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 stays in the community in some fashion. That reinvestment shrinks to $43 when the money is spent at a national chain that’s local, but money spent outside the county entirely returns nothing.

In the News’ unscientific, online poll, about 30 percent of the 165 respondents said they shop locally 100 percent of the time, while another 53 percent shop locally around  50 percent of the time.

While Covington and Newton County lack certain commercial options, chamber officials want to emphasize the variety the city does have.

“We believe that we have great restaurants here, and we wanted this event to showcase who they are, what they do and the delightful effect their food can have on your taste buds,” said chamber President Hunter Hall.

“Our hope and desire is for this to be a very social, entertaining time, where people can come relax and get a good feel for our local food, as well as local businesses that they might want to do business with.”

The event will feature 14 local food vendors: Amici’s, Andrea’s Catering, Bradley’s BBQ, Bullritos, Gallery at the Grove, Johnny’s Pizza, Just Dogs, Plain Nuts, Putters at The Oaks, Noring Farms, Scoops, Sweet Treats and Zaxby’s.

In addition, 20 local businesses will have booths and representatives to show off their goods and services: Angie’s Professional Cleaning, Apollo Staffing, Bank of North Georgia, Benton House of Covington, Bizzy Bee, Covington Y, Manpower, Montessori School, Nationwide Insurance, Newton Citizen, Newton Federal Bank, Newton Medical Center, Peoples Home Medical, Precision Locksmith, ServPro of Conyers/Covington, Sunbelt Builder, Tahitian Nonie International, United Bank, Van Go’s Studio and Wheeler Funeral Home.

Weather permitting, additional businesses will be allowed to set up on the bank near the Yellow River.

The chamber printed out 500 tickets for the event, and Hall said they’ve been selling well, so residents need to pick one up soon to guarantee a spot at the Taste of Newton.