Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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January 31, 2014

Fate of BrickFest up in the air

emann@pvdemocrat.com — As Main Street Pauls Valley moves forward with locating a new director and a determination to have a presence for the long term future, one of the first duties will deal with its most celebrated event.

Already on the minds of many community members is figuring out the fate of BrickFest, which for MSPV Director Jesse Alvarado, is something that needs to be determined well before its traditional early May time slot.

Along with feedback from the area population helping to determine what people want with such an event, the goal is also to see what can be done to make it better than it has been recently and even if it needs a new date.

“Since the beginning of the year we’ve been getting questions on what are you going to do with BrickFest and we have discussed it, but we have been trying to figure out how to bring it back, how to bring back the excitement behind BrickFest,” said Alvarado.

“Instead of continuing on in the same path, in the same manner and just going on, we’ve been trying to figure out what else we can do to vamp it up, make it over.”

Alvarado made it clear that something is going to happen this year, whether it is actually called BrickFest or something entirely new.

In fact, this director-to-be’s first serious discussions will be on what to do with it and get to work promoting and filling it up with vendors and entertainers, some of whom are already asking how they can be a part of it.

The suggestion of changing the date has come from an observation that attendance has gone down partly because of the amount of other festivities going on during that same time period, drawing attention away, according to Alvarado.

People have also been concerned about the weather, but he said some sort of consensus will need to be reached soon, hopefully with the input of the public who is encouraged to contact them with their thoughts.

“Me personally, I’m basing my information on the level of attendance, the level of participation from some of these events and I don’t see crowds like

“I used to see... Are people getting tired of the same old same old? It feels like there’s almost a disconnect,” said Alvarado, who has a fond memory of winning the brick toss when he was 17.

“Tell me what you want at BrickFest, what’s it going to take for you to come down and you to bring everyone you know down.”

In the end, Alvarado believes there is some way everyone can contribute to strengthening the town’s image, whether it is creating something artistic or helping by donating so that the organization does not have to focus only on fundraising.

He wants to see the town capitalize on what it has, from one-of-a-kind places like the Toy & Action Figure Museum to the atmosphere of downtown and every business and individual proudly promoting these features to bring people here more often.

“Ever since we got our funding cut we’ve had to focus on our finances and staying afloat, but if we can get away from needing money to operate then we can actually bring in real benefits,” said Alvarado.

“I know for a fact this town is littered with very, very talented people and untapped resources… this is me reaching out to those people.”

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