Square concerts kick off Thursday

COVINGTON -- The beginning and end of summer are marked in Covington by the Arts Association in Newton County's lunchtime Concerts on the Square, a tradition enjoyed by young and old.

This year's September series kicks off at noon Thursday in the Square Park in downtown Covington and features local artists performing a variety of genres.

"The main purpose (of the series) is to reflect the principles of the Arts Association, which are to promote local artists, to expose the community to different genres of music and also to present diversity in our programming," said Marketing Director Michelle Bryant Johnson.

The following acts are in this year's lineup:

Sept. 1 - Mack McKibbon and Drive Time, featuring special guests Gwen Hughes and Rita Graham, progressive jazz

Sept. 8 - Dan Digby and the Yellow River Band, oldies

Sept. 15 - David Leinweber and the GA Flatpickers Band, bluegrass

Sept. 22 - Bradley Green, contemporary gospel

Sept. 29 - Rob Lanford and the 5 O'Clocks, blues

All concerts take place at noon and are free. The public is encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs and a picnic lunch.

"You're getting quality programming for free and it's a great opportunity for the community to come together. It's intergenerational - we have everybody from preschools coming to senior citizens. It's a beautiful weave, a great Square and a great place to spend your lunch hour and get exposed to a variety of options for music," Johnson said.

Sponsors of the series are Honda of Conyers and The Covington News.