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2nd annual Bike Fest set for Saturday

COVINGTON - The Washington Street Community Center will host its second annual Bike Fest at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The event is open to children ages 5 through 13 and will feature a bicycle safety check, a bike and helmet fit check, safety lessons and quizzes and a skills course offered by the Covington Police Department.

"We're happy to see kids outdoors on bicycles, having fun and being active," said Covington Police Lt. Paul Dailey. "But we want our children to be safe. This event is a great way to teach bicycle safety in a way that is fun. We are happy to be a part of it."

The event is co-sponsored by the Covington Police Department, the Covington-Conyers Cycling Club (C4) and Conte's Bicycles and Fitness Equipment and will take place at Washington Street Community Center, located at 4138 School St.

Volunteers from the cycling club will inspect and make minor repairs to bicycles.

While supplies last, children without a bike or with an unsafe bike will be given a gently used bicycle to take home. Conte's and C4 have been collecting donations from the public to give away.

"Last year, we gave away at least 27 bikes to boys and girls who were happy to have them," C4 President Maurice Carter said. "Through generous donations, we also were able to give new helmets, flashing and safety lights and bells to over 50 kids."

The event will end with a bike parade to the Covington Square and back. Children and adults are invited to participate in the parade, which begins at noon.

Washington Street Community Center Director Bea Jackson said the event was a highlight of the center's activities in 2008.

"We had super turnout from the children and from the community. It was a day of fun for the center and the entire neighborhood. We can't wait to do it all over again," she said.

Prior to the event, at 8 a.m., there will be a pancake breakfast. The cost is $4 for adults and $2 for children age 6 and under.

Bicycle donations are still be accepted at Washington Street Community Center. To donate a bike or for more information about Bike Fest, call 770-786-4002.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.