Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

May 14, 2013

Location for celebration in limbo

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — Pauls Valley will again get a holiday treat when this year’s July 4th celebration rolls around. The real question is where that festive gathering will actually be this summer.

A big difference in years past is the 2013 version of the fireworks filled event may have to find a new temporary home.

The reason for that is the regular site for the local July 4th event, PV’s football stadium, will likely not have any lights or electricity available due to a school related renovation project now underway.

The project is a complete make-over for the Panthers’ football fieldhouse, which includes new lights going up at the local stadium.

Not to worry as members of the sponsoring Pauls Valley Kiwanis Club are already on the case.

A group of club members have already got the process started of looking at alternative plans for the celebration, just in case the stadium is not the best option.

“The location is something we need to get nailed down as soon as possible,” said Kiwanis President Katie Johnson.

Fellow Kiwanis member Howard Grider said all indications right now point toward no stadium lights or electricity being available at the facility on July 4th.

“Right now there aren’t any lights out there,” said Howard Grider, referring to the stadium.

“There’s probably not going to be electricity out there either.”

Grider has even checked on the situation with someone closely monitoring the progress of the school renovation work, local school Superintendent Darsha Huckabaa.

“She said they’re trying to get it done by July 4th but doubts that will happen,” he said.

A whole variety of options are now being considered, such as bringing in outside lights for the stadium or holding the event at the band shell in Wacker Park.

Even the nearby baseball field and rodeo arena have been thrown into the mix.

The good news is there’s still time to figure it all out.

“We know it’s going to be in the park somewhere,” said Lorin Jacobson.

“I think we need to do a little more research about the power situation,” he added.

Although the downside could be visibility for those checking out the fireworks show, the best bet could be the band shell.

That could potentially be the best option because having electrical power available is important for such things as the musical entertainment again included in the event, along with vendors and carnival type inflatables for the kids.

If the stadium does wind up as the chosen site plans would include bringing in outside tower lights and generators to cover the electrical needs, Grider said.

Whatever the site the local civic club is again turning to tourism funding to help with the costs of the show.

The club is requesting a little bit more of the money from a hotel/motel tourism tax, a total of $7,000, because of the higher costs of fireworks.

Sponsorships from the city of Pauls Valley and local businesses help pay for most of the expenses of the July 4th show, which includes fireworks costs in the neighborhood of $17,000.

The local Kiwanis Club is also making plans to hold its annual food fundraiser with hamburgers and hot dogs for those coming out to enjoy the holiday show.