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First United Methodist Church hosts festival
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On May 8, Newton County will come together as a community of faith working together to "Impact Our Community." This day is about collecting for local missions. Donations of money or items will be accepted for FaithWorks, the Food Pantry, Garden of Gethsemane Homeless Shelter, Washington Street Community Center, Newton Medical Center and the Lions Club.

A "Steeple Chase," 5K and 1 mile fun run/walk will kick the day off at 8 a.m. The starting line is in front of Covington First United Methodist Church. At 8 a.m. the fun run/walk will begin, and at 8:30 a.m. the run for the "steeples" of First Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, The Church of the Good Shepherd, Grace United Methodist Church and Covington First United Methodist Church begins.

Each of these churches along with Julia A Porter, Allen Memorial and Eastridge churches will also be sponsoring food vendors and activities at the events beginning at 1 p.m.

Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful will be on the front steps of Covington FUMC with supplies for volunteers to head down Ga. Highway 36 to pick up trash.

From 1 p.m. until dusk an afternoon of fun, entertainment and fellowship is planned. Staged on the front steps of FUMC, the music of Christian vocal groups and bands will fill the air. Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets and sit back and enjoy the music. Hotdogs, lemonade and bottled water will be available throughout the afternoon.

The afternoon also will include a Community Service Fair where more than 35 organizations will be available with booths filled with knowledge of the arts, sports, education, health and welfare for all ages. Health and eye-screenings, activities for children and art shows are other highlights of this event.

Grillers and bakers will not want to miss the Barbecue Cook-Off and Dessert Bake-Off. There will be judging in categories of grilled chicken, ribs, pork and brisket and ribbons will be awarded for first, second and third place. Categories for the dessert bake-off include cakes, pies, cookies/brownies and puddings. Ribbons and more bragging rights will be awarded. There is no registration fee, but all competitors are asked to donate their entries as part of the dinner served at 5 p.m.

For another "splash" of fun, a dunk booth will be available with local pastors and youth and children's directors waiting to have members of their congregations and local friends dunk them. All proceeds from the dunk tank will be donated to local missions.

When the music stops, the cooking is done, the games and displays end, a "screen on the green" will begin at dusk.
The May 8 event will be located at 1113 Conyers Street. For additional information, call (770) 786-7305. Details, registration forms, sponsoring churches and lists of collection items are listed on Covington FUMC's Web site at