Covington to get Walk of Stars downtown

COVINGTON -- Since Covington is the Hollywood of the South, it's only fitting that the city should have it's own walk of fame, although in this case, it's going to be a "Walk of Stars."

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.

Movies and television shows filmed downtown will have pavers in locations where they filmed. For example, "The Vampire Diaries" will have a paver in front of the law offices on Clark Street used as Mystic Grill on the show; the "Cannonball Run" paver will be placed near Square Perk where a scene from the movie was filmed; a paver for the Tyler Perry film, "The Family That Preys" will likely be placed in front of Townhouse Cafe. Approval from merchants will be sought before the pavers are installed.

All told, about 30 pavers are currently planned, recognizing various TV shows and films, said Clara Deemer, director of tourism.

"Those not filmed downtown will be placed strategically around the perimeter of the Square," Deemer said.

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," Deemer said.

The idea for a "Walk of Stars" was first proposed by locals Irene Smith and Jo McLaney in 1996.

"This has been a vision of these two ladies and tourism is excited to bring this to fruition," Deemer said.

Deemer said the plan is to have the pavers installed by the end of the year. The project is being funded through the tourism department, by the hotel and motel tax. Permission was granted by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to use hotel/motel tax dollars in that manner. "They thought it was a great idea, very creative," Deemer said.