The Fourth of July is the day Americans celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, but rarely is the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787 celebrated with much fanfare.
That’s going to change in Covington this year. Organized by a group of friends, Constitution Day will be held on the Historic Covington Square on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to noon, the 229th anniversary of the signing of the document that still shapes U.S. laws.
“It’s our founding document that all our laws are based on,” said Linda Rudolph, one of the event organizers. “It’s a thing that affects us all my friends and I have a reverence for it and hopes it passes down.”
Rudolph said the idea for the celebration came from her volunteer work at Marietta Constitution Day celebrations, hosted by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group funded by businessmen and philanthropists, David H. and Charles Koch, Rudolph. Rudolph said she was impressed by the Marietta event. “They do a good job with kids. They were really engaged.”
Volunteers talked about the different articles of the Constitution as well as the Bill of Rights.
“We’re hoping [Constitution Day] will become an annual event,” she said. “We’re excited about engaging kids.”
Tables will be set up around the Square, she said, and children can learn about the 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights.
They will receive certificates of achievement for each amendment they learn.
Children are also encouraged to attend in Colonial or Americana dress and prizes $10 gift cards to Scoops — will be awarded.
The day will begin with a prayer and a proclamation by Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston, declaring Sept. 17 Constitution Day in Newton County.
“I believe it’s important for us to always support and understanding our constitutional rights,” Johnston said. “I encourage everyone to come out. It’s going to be a great time.”
Rudolph said the Preamble to the Constitution will also be read to the crowd.
Pocket-sized U.S. Constitutions will be handed out while supplies last. Voters of all political affiliations can register to vote during the event.
“In general, we just want to celebrate this beautiful and amazing county we are blessed to call home,” said Jessica Wright Pierson in a press release about the event.
While the group solicited and received some donations, covering the gift cards and printing costs, most of the expenses have been paid for out of the group of friends who organized the event.