With the football season underway there’s some in Pauls Valley now working to be ready for a Boomer Sooner kind of visit.
The work is to raise the money to offer a little PV hospitality for yet another visit coming soon by the University of Oklahoma band.
The date is set for Oct. 11 as the OU marching band will drop by for some rehearsal time before it heads south for the annual game against Texas in the Cotton Bowl.
PV’s school band director, Drew Etheredge, believes the visit by the band he used to be a member of is one great event for the community and the Garvin County area.
“It’s just a really neat thing for our community to host,” Etheredge says.
“It’s a great way to showcase what our community has to offer. I think it’s a great community event that puts Pauls Valley in a positive light. I think we’re lucky to have the opportunity to host it.”
The OU band has made a handful of stops here and even in nearby Lindsay over the past decade plus.
A little change up was tossed in a couple of years ago when it was the band from Oklahoma State University that came to Pauls Valley.
Until next month’s Sooner stop gets here Etheredge and others are working to raise around $5,000 to pay for each and every member of the Pride of Oklahoma to get a nice meal before they hit the road for Dallas.
The local band director says it’s just something he feels is the right thing to do after the rehearsal open to the public on the PV football field.
“When I was a member of the Pride we’d always stop somewhere and in some places they would hand us a sack lunch with something like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” Etheredge said.
As in past visits to Pauls Valley, that compares to a home cooked meal provided here as Tammy Delaplain is again being brought in to cater the food.
“For these students in the Pride this is one of the best meals they’ll get all year. I’ve had so many comments about how impressed they are. There’s no doubt they’re very appreciative,” he said.
“We’re feeding 350 to 375 people. Basically I’m seeking donations to pay for the meal since I don’t have the support from tourism.
“I want to make sure we do things the right way – take care of the people we’re hosting and show them what Pauls Valley is all about.
“I think this is important because feeding them and making them feel welcome in Pauls Valley is the right thing to do.”
Another part of that is where the meal will again be served – the local Reynolds Recreation Center.
“The coolest part is to see the looks on their faces when they’re walking into the recreation center,” Etheredge adds.
“People don’t expect to see something that nice in a community our size.”
Even more personal for Etheredge is the impact he believes an event like this one can have on younger kids who might think about giving band a try after seeing the Sooner group do its thing on the local football field.
“When I was 10 years old my dad took me to my first OU-Texas football game. When I saw the band out there I knew that was what I was going to do,” he said.
“When they come here it gives so many kids a chance to see something they would never get to see. It’s a great thing to expose the kids to. That might be what pushes some of them into band like if did for me.
“It’s such a positive thing for the kids.”
Etheredge says anyone who would like to help can make checks out to the Pauls Valley Band and send the donations to PV High School at P.O. Box 780.