Pairing up a big bang for fireworks

A plan is now in place to look at possibly matching up two Pauls Valley events as a way to bring a really big bang for a local summer holiday celebration.

The proposed pairing is the Love PV drive, which raises money to provide school supplies for Pauls Valley and Whitebead children, and the annual Fourth of July fireworks show in Wacker Park.

After a recent presentation by Love PV organizer Callie Henry to tourism board members, it was Josh Herring who stepped up last week to ask for help from the Pauls Valley City Council.

The idea still pending is to secure city support in the form of tourism funds to at a minimum pay for the fireworks to be fired off this next July.

“The Kiwanis Club approached us to consider taking over the fireworks show,” Herring said as the local civic club had overseen the summer event for decades.

“We're going to try to turn it into a festival. We got the idea to merge the two where it could become an actual festival. We want to make it a much larger event, not just a fireworks show.

“The whole idea of Love PV stepping in is so we could merge the two events.”

Over the past few years around $17,000 in tourism funds have been given for the local fireworks show.

Members of the PV Tourism Board have already recommended $24,000 be approved for the event.

According to Herring, that total is meant to cover the costs of the fireworks, building a new a stage for live entertainment and advertising.

The actual costs of the fireworks is believed to around $20,500 which could be more in the comfort zone of council members.

“I would feel more comfortable for us to support the fireworks and not the entertainment,” said Bonnie Meisel.

“I would be more comfortable paying for the fireworks only. I think we all support this. It's just the dollar amount that's a little confusing.”

Meisel did make a motion during the March 9 meeting to approve the $20,500 total, which passed by a 4-1 vote.

Moments later the approved motion was withdrawn when council members learned they are expected to get more specific information about the holiday proposal during a meeting later this month or in April.

The council was interested in learning more about the group following the Kiwanis' example of working to raise extra money through sponsorships.

“We want to try to become a hot spot for the Fourth of July here in Pauls Valley,” Herring said.

“We have plans to make it an all day event with the 5K's and car show, but we've got to start somewhere.”

Herring said the plan was to start slow with those festival plans, while Henry says the size of the July 4th event will depend on the support coming from the community.

“We plan on going on with the festival but to what extent will depend on the support we get,” Henry said.

“The support will decide what caliber of event we'll be able to have. It will very much depend on if we get the support of local businesses. We've already reached out to businesses that have supported both,” she said about Love PV and the fireworks show.

“The good news is we have a surplus with the school supply fundraiser from last year. So that should help us get off to a good start this year.”

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