Throughout the course of a year, we cover a lot of area festivals and know how fun a good one can be, so we’re all very excited to help put one on ourselves Friday evening for the annual Battle of the Ax matchup.

Texoma Marketing and Media Group, the publisher of the Herald Democrat, will hold the 2017 BOTA Tailgate Experience today from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. in front of Kidd-Key Auditorium and the celebration area will cover four blocks on Mulberry and Elm streets.

In the newsroom, we haven’t been involved with much of the planning, so we all get excited when we hear about one of the new attractions that has been added to the event.

We’d been told about the rock climbing wall, train rides and mini-golf attractions that will be part of the event, but we just found out about the Ferris wheel that’s been added. And beyond those, people and kids will be able to enjoy multiple bounce houses, face painting and commemorative photos.

Personally, there are several attractions I can’t wait to check out. The mechanical bull intimidated me a little too much last year, but I’d really like to give it a whirl if I have a chance this year. And the “record-a-hit” booth could be a big hit. I had the opportunity to such a booth years ago and the results were predictably hilarious as I couldn’t carry a tune to save my life.

The huge jumbotrons showing an exclusive, closed-circuit live feed of the game itself should also be something to see.

And everything I’ve already mentioned is going to be free for anyone and everyone who comes by to take part with us.

A host of food trucks won’t be free, but the large variety of cuisines to be offered should make the cost worth it to anyone looking for a quick bite.

We all hope everyone comes out before the game to help us celebrate the oldest football rivalry in the state.

Happy birthday to Friday Janann Hefner of Denison and Camila Collins of Sherman.