Each year, the Georgia State Department of Tourism defines a theme to promote Georgia assets, and 2017 is designated as the Year of Film. After making the cover for the 2017 Georgia Travel Guide, Covington was catapulted into the spotlight. The state recruits writers from all over the country to visit Georgia and be part of what they call a FAM tour [which means Familiarization Tour]. This year, Covington was asked to host one of the first groups for the Year of Film since our film history is so rich, and dates as far back as 1954. For twelve hours on Monday, April 24th, the group was exposed to many of our key filming assets on this Hollywood Comes to Georgia FAM tour, and had the chance to see a snapshot of what life is like here in Covington/Newton County.
Visitors to our state and our community included writers and staff from publications like 365 Atlanta Family, South Magazine, AJC, Virginia Sportsman, NC/SC Relocation Magazine, Getaways for Grownups, Philadelphia Sun Newspaper, Travel with Taste, Stark Insider, and many more! We were proud to showcase areas of our community like the beautiful, historic square in Downtown Covington. The day began with a tour of our courthouse, and then a talk with Jessica Lowery of Vampire Stalkers and Mystic Falls Tours about the filming of the CW’s The Vampire Diaries in our town. After, our visitors embarked on a tour around the square to visit many of our merchants who offer “Hollywood” branded items. Their first stop was at The Cork Boutique and Gifts and Growler Shop to browse among the great selections of vino, including the ever-popular Vampire Wine. The group enjoyed a delicious lunch at the new Irish Bred Pub, where they were introduced to four brand-new Hollywood themed cocktails. Once lunch was over, the group enjoyed a walking tour at our gorgeous Twelve Oaks Bed and Breakfast, with each room themed to a different TV or film production!
The next part of our tour included a Sample Stop Tour downtown, where our guests stopped into merchants like On Location Gifts, Bread and Butter Bakery, Wright Expressions Photography, and Scoop’s. The group was also given an exclusive first look at the startup for our upcoming Pop-Up Film Museum, and were given the vision for what it will be once it’s operational.
Afterward, our Hollywood guests took a tour of Worthington Manor, which has been featured in productions like The Vampire Diaries and Sleepy Hollow. While at the gorgeous manor, the group had the chance to sample the delicious blends of Vampire Wines that they saw earlier in the day and peruse the perfectly manicured gardens at this location.
A Hollywood tour of Covington can’t be complete without a pit stop at the famous Mystic Grill, which is where our group met for dinner. After their meal, guests were taken on an exclusive tour of the restaurant, and also visited The Alley gift shop beneath the Mystic Grill.
The tour concluded on the evening of the 24th with a stop at WildArt to paint a small canvas of the historic courthouse, a short mini-tour with our friends at Covington Ghost Tours, and then finally a movie night with popcorn at our brand new Holiday Inn Express.
What a tour! It appears that our guests truly got a chance to step into life in Covington and experience what we have to offer, all in one day. We are proud to have the chance to host one of the first FAM tours of 2017 and showcase our great community. Thanks to the Georgia State Department of Tourism and Economic Development, and also to our many visitors for spending the day with us. We hope to see you again soon in the original Hollywood of the South™!