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Businesses, residents contribute to fireworks celebration

COVINGTON -- The holiday skies are sure to be bright with fireworks on Independence Day in Covington, thanks to the generous donations of local residents and businesses.

Porterdale resident Robert Foxworth, who has been working with the city of Covington to collect contributions to the fireworks celebration, said so far he's collected more than $7,900. The city will match Foxworth's collections for a total of $16,000 to go toward the purchase of pyrotechnics.

Foxworth said his goal was to reach $7,500 in contributions. He said he's asked more than 50 people for donations, and he's especially pleased with the response he has received.

"I can count on one hand how many people I've asked who couldn't help me," he said. "That's good; that's really good."

Two local businesses made significant contributions to the cause, he said. Ginn Motor Co. contributed $1,500, and Oconee Metal Recycling gave $1,000.

Foxworth said Covington officials originally committed to matching $7,500, but agreed to increase the city match when Foxworth exceeded his goal.

"Every dollar I raise is going to be spent in fireworks, period," he said. "It's not going to go for anything except fireworks."

This is the second year that Foxworth has been helping collect donations for Covington's fireworks. A former Porterdale City Council member, Foxworth helped collect donations for that city's celebration for three years.

Why does he do it?

"Everybody enjoys the fireworks," he said. "You can have the biggest festival ever, but the icing on the cake is the fireworks afterwards. That makes it worthwhile, to see the people and the children in awe of the show that's put on. And it's worth it. That's the satisfaction I get out of it, to see everybody enjoying the show."

Covington's Fourth of July celebration, called Independence in the Park, is set to begin at 4 p.m. July 4 in downtown Covington. Mack McKibben, owner of McKibben Music, is once again the event planner, and is bringing a variety of musical acts to the Square, including 'American Idol' runner-up Bo Bice.

First up will be a 45-minute patriotic program presented by the Community Choir directed by Tim Barnes, minister of music at First Baptist Church of Covington. Following at 5 p.m. will be a performance by the Community Band directed by T.K. Adams, an annual tradition.

Also in the lineup are Vista Kings, Central Community Church Praise Team, Xavier Gordon featuring Olivia Adams, Church at Covington Praise Team, Drew Parker Band and McKibben's band Drive Time.

The event will culminate with a fireworks show at dark.