When I explain Covington to someone who isn’t from the area, the first things that come out of my mouth are: hospitality, Southern charm and community. I go on to explain how we are a friendly town, steeped in tradition, and we love our neighbor. Recently, it has been perceived the city of Covington City Council is against one of those traditions, and I want to explain why that is not true.

After recent events, there has been a lot of talk about local high school students using the Square for prom activities. I completely see the allure of using the Square for pre-prom pictures because, after all, this is one of our great traditions.

The apprehension comes from the volume of people on the Square during the event and the concerns are valid. With traffic at a standstill and cars parked in the street, getting emergency vehicles through becomes an issue. However, let me be clear … the City Council, myself and city of Covington employees are committed to finding a way for high-schoolers to continue this tradition. Furthermore, our goal is to make the event better and more accommodating to all. We will make this an event everyone can enjoy.

We are very proud of our Independence Day celebration and our Christmas festivities on the Square. Those events have evolved into some of the finest in the region, but they certainly didn’t start out that way. As they grew in popularity and size, we had to evolve and accommodate the demands those activities put on our resources. We were able to progress, and now those events are something we are proud of.

Rest assured, we will collaborate with school officials and Main Street Covington and find a way to allow this prom tradition to continue while keeping everyone safe. That is our role as a local government. As a community on the rise, we must continually improve our processes to protect our time-honored traditions.

If you are a graduating senior, I want to wish you the best in your future endeavors. Remember, Covington is flourishing and if you leave to further your education, I hope you will return with your new-found education and talents and help us continue to prosper. I’m looking forward to next year’s prom.

Ronnie Johnston

Mayor

City of Covington

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