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Walk of Stars to be unveiled Thursday

COVINGTON - The community is invited to attend the unveiling of the Covington Walk of Stars at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in front of the Newton County Historic Courthouse.

The Covington-Newton County Convention and Visitors Bureau got approval from the City Council earlier this month to install concrete pavers featuring the names of films and television series, notable actors and dates they filmed in Covington and Newton County, all around the Square.

Known as the Hollywood of the South, more than 60 movies and television series have been filmed in Covington and Newton County, starting with "A Man Named Peter" in 1954. Covington has served as Hazzard County in "The Dukes of Hazzard;" Sparta, Miss. in "In the Heat of the Night;" and now Mystic Falls, Va. in "The Vampire Diaries." The historic courthouse was featured in the opening credits of "In the Heat of the Night."

Movies filmed here include "My Cousin Vinny;" "Sweet Home Alabama;" "Cannonball Run;" "Remember the Titans;" "Madea's Family Reunion;" and the just-released "Flight" starring Denzel Washington.

Representatives from the Georgia Film Commission and local elected officials will be on hand for Thursday's ceremony, where the first pavers will be unveiled.

Once the pavers are in place, a brochure will be produced with a map listing their locations.

"We're hoping that it will bring more foot traffic downtown. It's just another tool for tourism to bring visitors," said Tourism Director Clara Deemer.

The idea for a "Walk of Stars" was first proposed by locals Irene Smith and Jo McLaney in 1996 and has long been a goal of the Department of Tourism.