A match made in patriotic heaven is now official as volunteers heading up the Love PV school supply drive have received city of Pauls Valley support to lead what could be an even bigger local July 4th event.
In fact, Callie Henry and others with Love PV hope to not only organize a great fireworks show each year but over time bring in more activities and make the summer holiday an all-day event in Pauls Valley's Wacker Park.
Henry's presentation to four members of the Pauls Valley City Council last week finished with the group giving its approval to the full funding request as previously recommended by local tourism officials.
“We want to give you more of a vision of what we want to do,” Henry said to the council at the March 23 regular meeting.
“We want to be an event to draw people to Pauls Valley from all over. We want to create a festival with booths and food trucks that can become an all-day event where people can come from far away.
“We want to represent Pauls Valley. We want people to come and see a representation of what Pauls Valley is.”
The action essentially merges the Love PV Festival, which raises money for children in Pauls Valley and Whitebead to have school supplies, and the local Fourth of July fireworks show.
Henry assured the council plans are to take what's already in place and hopefully add to the event over time.
“It would definitely include everything that's been there before and we hope we can increase the number of activities over time,” she said.
A number of booths will likely be a part of the Love PV Festival, while plans are to keep the watermelon seed spitting contest going with the hope of adding things like yard games, a 5K run and maybe even have a car show in the future.
“We want it to become something that not only promotes pride in our town but brings people into Pauls Valley on July the 4th.
“This definitely has the opportunity to get the whole town involved. Our goal is to get as many Pauls Valley people involved as possible,” Henry said, also referring to local retailers getting on board with their own festival booth.
Council member Bonnie Meisel made it clear she wants the event to remain “patriotic” as she initially was leaning toward only funding the cost of the fireworks.
“Money is tight and we haven't given raises to (city) employees in two years. I think our employees deserve a raise,” Meisel said.
“I support funding the fireworks. I have no problem funding the total cost of the fireworks. It's the other part I'm struggling with.”
“I like the idea of having a festival and spreading it out throughout the day,” said Chip Pearson.
“It's been a tough year, but anything we can do to draw people in we should do.”
“Swayed” by the presentation, Meisel and the entire council voted to support the PV Tourism Board recommendation and approve the full $24,500 in funding requested.
That total is meant to help cover the cost of the fireworks, insurance and some of the event's entertainment, Henry said.
She added around $5,000 has already been raised privately from sponsors of both the Love PV Festival and fireworks show.