While patriotic skies over Pauls Valley is sure to attract another hefty crowd of visitors for this year’s Independence Day celebration, just as many plan to come simply to continue a tradition carried on for generations.

Playing a helping role to once again lead the way for 2011 is the Kiwanis Club, which attributes popularity of the event to a host of cooperation from local businesses to other service organizations like Main Street, said board member Lorin Jacobson.

Entertainment is set to kick off at the Panther football field Monday July 4, with much of the activities set to begin around 6:30 p.m.

Preparations for the show will get started early that morning since the process involves electronically programming when the fireworks go off and digging trenches for the pipes that will launch them, said Jacobson.

The same man who handles Elmore City’s spectacle each year, David Chapman, will come to Pauls Valley to handle this show, which is expected to start near 9:30 p.m. or some time after it gets dark.

“It’s an opportunity for us all to get together,” said Jacobson, who noted the fireworks part should last about 30 minutes.

“It’s something I’ve been happy to be involved in since I’ve been going since I was a kid. We’re able to provide a quality show and a good time for everybody.”

If one expects to get a prime location, they’ll need to show up in the early afternoon since people have been known to stake their claims hours before festivities, said Jacobson. However, there will be some games and inflatable play areas for kids with food along the lines of burgers for sale that evening.

The fun should be at least on par with last year’s events since about $13,000 was collected for fireworks alone and the return of Main Street’s World Champion Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest, said Jacobson. The only thing that is expected to be different is more local music groups than in years past.

Jacobson is even bringing his own two-year-old daughter to enjoy what he’s loved for so many years and hopes the event being on a Monday will encourage more families to do the same.

Weather is not expected to be as much a problem this time around, but in case things get rained out for a third year or wind is too severe, the backup plan would be to reschedule it for July 9.

 

“My favorite part is when the show is going on... the joy it gives little kids,” said Jacobson. “It just makes it that much more rewarding.”