By Jeff Shultz
Pauls Valley Chamber officials are hoping to grab its third Redbud Award this Tuesday during the annual Redbud Awards this Tuesday, May 8, at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City.
“We were notified last week that our nomination of the Okie Noodling Festival has made the cut in the Outstanding Event category nomination,” said PV Chamber Director Della Wilson.
Wilson noted if the Okie Noodling Festival does win the coveted Redbud Award, it will be the third win for Pauls Valley.
In 2005, the Toy and Action Figure Museum won the prestigious honor as the state’s Outstanding Tourism Attraction.
Then PV followed that with a win for the 2007 Sesquicentennial Celebration as the most Outstanding Tourism Event, the same category the Okie Noodling Festival is in.
The Redbud Award is given each year, recognizing “the latest, greatest, and most unique marketing strategies from across the state of Oklahoma.”
The Okie Noodling Festival and Fish Fry was created specifically for the 2001 documentary “Okie Noodling,” which first appeared on PBS.
Since then the festival has grown larger and larger.
At first handfishing enthusiasts gathered at Bob’s Pig Shop, Pauls Valley, for the annual catfish weigh in and celebration.
As the festival grew in popularity, the crowds got just as huge as the giant catfish brought in during the event.
The event was moved from Bob’s Pig Shop to Wacker Park last year and was the largest Okie Noodling Festival ever.
The festival has been featured in the New York Times, Time Magazine and on such cable channels as ESPN, The Food Network, CNN and The National Explorer Channel.