Interest sky high for fly-in event

Lots of classic vehicles were part of a car show held in conjunction with an antique airplane fly-in event last year at Pauls Valley's airport. The next one is scheduled for Nov. 6. (PV Democrat photo)

The growing interest in a Pauls Valley airplane fly-in event, complete with tons of classic cars, now has the full support of a local tourism group.

Members of the PV Tourism Board are clearly impressed with the recent growth of an antique airplane fly-in and car show overseen by the Oklahoma Antique Airplane Association at its facility located at the local airport.

With the belief the growing event is bringing a whole lot of visitors to Pauls Valley, the board voted to show its support with around $9,000 in tourism sales tax funds. The action still needs approval from the PV City Council to be official.

“In the past it was just a fly-in,” said Chris Salazar at the recent tourism meeting.

“A couple of years ago we added a car show. That has increased the number of people who came in.

“We want to grow this event to the point where we don’t need to come to you for help.”

The numbers support that claim as Salazar said the event expanded from 40 cars and 20 airplanes a couple of years ago to about 200 cars and in the neighborhood of 50 planes in 2020.

Another 100 or so cars were turned away last year because event organizers couldn’t at that time handle the large number. That likely won’t be the case when this year’s event rolls around on Nov. 6.

Most of the tourism money, if approved, will be used to revamp the electrical system for the group’s building at Pauls Valley’s airport.

Sponsorships for the event’s T-shirts should also help with the advertising sought by the tourism board to promote the growing event.

“I would like to see some money spent on advertising,” said board member Randy McGee.

“I want it to be a good deal for Pauls Valley. Our purpose is to make your event bigger and better.

“The most important thing we can do is create a brand for Pauls Valley.”

Board member Terri Matthews believes the event is way bigger and important for Pauls Valley than what most people may think.

“I’ve been out for this and it was impressive,” Matthews said.

“It’s third only to Okie Noodling and BrickFest. It’s a tremendous thing to invest in.”

“The future part is this helps them with the event being bigger later on,” C.J. Peachlyn added.

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