Noodlers want rain to go away

Rain, rain go away – at least that's what Pauls Valley city officials are hoping as they prepare to host a whole lot of folks coming for another local Okie Noodling Tournament.

Heavy rains in recent times and weather systems coming on a regular basis packed with the wet stuff could represent a real downer for noodlers and fans alike as Pauls Valley's biggest event of the year arrives June 14-15.

Regardless of the conditions outdoors the 20th anniversary of what's considered the biggest noodling event in the world will go on right in the heart of Wacker Park.

“We're hoping it will stop raining,” Pauls Valley City Manager James Frizell says.

“We will have a tournament one way or another, but it would be better if it dried out a little bit.

“If it quits raining we'll have a really big event.”

Flash back to four years ago when much like today river levels locally and in the region were up right around noodling tournament time. That did have an impact on the noodling event here.

“Our biggest concern is noodlers around here won't be able to noodle unless the river goes down,” Frizell said.

“In 2015 we had a lot of rain before the tournament. We still had it, but the number of fish that year was way down.”

Regardless of the weather, thousands of visitors are expected to be in Pauls Valley for an event that actually starts Friday night, June 14.

With no coolers allowed in the local park due to new liquor laws, the 5th annual Okie Noodling Eve Concert starting at 7 p.m. features Casey Donahew with special guest Jason Boland and the Stragglers.

Then comes a full day of noodling related activities on Saturday, June 15.

Vendors are scheduled to begin opening up around 10 a.m. with live noodling demonstrations throughout much of the day.

Also an all-day affair is the arrival of participating noodlers, who will bring the monster size catfish they were able to latch onto with their bare hands.

The schedule of events includes:

• 11 a.m. – Okie Cornhole registration begins.

• Noon – Washita Casino noodle-eating competition.

• 1 p.m. – PV Chamber of Commerce watermelon crawl.

• 2 p.m. – CTS river relay team competition.

• 3 p.m. – Treasure Valley men's only wet T-shirt contest.

• 4 p.m. – PV Chamber of Commerce kids catfish eating competition.

• 5:30 p.m. – Jet Stream Casino Okie Noodling queen competition.

• 6 p.m. – Tournament weigh-in deadline.

• 6:30 p.m. – Okie Cornhole finals.

• 7:30 p.m. – Tournament winner announced.

• 8:30 p.m. – BC and the Big Red performs on stage to wrap up the festivities.

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