Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

May 28, 2013

Holiday lights to fire up over park

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — Pauls Valley’s festive July 4th fireworks will again light up the sky over a local park when this year’s holiday roll around.

The big difference with this year’s version is all the activities that go with the traditional summer event will center around Wacker Park’s band shell.

The president of the event’s sponsoring PV Kiwanis Club indicated a decision has been made this site was the best of all the other places considered.

“We’re definitely doing the band shell thing this year,” said Katie Johnson.

“It will not be held at the football stadium due to the electricity not being available, so it will basically be at the band shell,” she said.

Johnson is referring to the PV football stadium and Thompson Field, where for many years people gathered on July 4th to take in the sights of holiday fireworks shooting up into the sky.

Members of a Kiwanis committee recently started looking at other places for the 2013 event because of an ongoing renovation project at the stadium.

The project is targeting a renovation and expansion of the Panther football fieldhouse located next to the stadium. It also includes new stadium lights, which for now means no electrical service is available at the facility.

Even though the option of bringing in outside lights and using generators at the stadium was looked at, Johnson said the decision was made to make the band shell the center of this July’s holiday event.

“We’ve always done it at the football stadium and it’s worked well for us,” she said.

“We went back and forth to keep it in the stadium and bring in lights.”

A key factor in moving the event just a few yards away to the band shell was the need to have electricity available for the live bands, vendors and other activities that go along with the local Independence Day celebration.

“Based on all those factors we decided to do something different,” Johnson said.

Other alternative sites looked at were the nearby baseball field and rodeo arena.

Ironically it’s the second big event that’s being moved to the park band shell because of the school project at the stadium.

Just days ago it was announced the Garvin County Relay For Life event on June 7-8 will call the band shell home this year. That event has also been held at the PV stadium for many years.

Relay volunteers said the band shell not only kept the event in a more central location but seemed to be more open and inviting to draw more people in to take part either as participants or spectators.