Pong Fest, Vanilla Ice make for unique address from Lakeway mayor

The mayor’s broadcast began an hour after Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide order mandating the use of face masks. (Screenshot courtesy Facebook Live)
The mayor’s broadcast began an hour after Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide order mandating the use of face masks. (Screenshot courtesy Facebook Live)

The mayor’s broadcast began an hour after Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide order mandating the use of face masks. (Screenshot courtesy Facebook Live)

Since March, Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox has been updating the community on the coronavirus pandemic through weekly Facebook live broadcasts. Her July 2 address touched on a couple of key topics of late in the Lake Travis area—one about a recent event that had taken place almost two weeks prior and the other about a freshly canceled concert slated for July 3 that created an uproar in the area.

The mayor’s broadcast began an hour after Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide order mandating the use of face masks, a practice Cox has urged since the pandemic began.

Cox confirmed this order will be enforced throughout the state and by the Lakeway Police Department. A first offense will result in a verbal or written warning, and all future offenses will result in a fine not to exceed $250.

On June 29, the city canceled its firework display “with a heavy heart,” according to Cox, who said city parks will also remain closed until the morning of July 7.

Lake Travis remains a popular holiday destination, and Cox said there may be an increase in boaters this year.

“Over the course of May and June there were 400 boats purchased in the city of Lakeway,” Cox said. “That is not normal.”

In light of this surge in boat sales, Cox strongly emphasized safety throughout the holiday weekend and reiterated parties with more than 10 guests cannot occur.

In the previous broadcast, Cox informed residents about a large party held June 20 in the Lake Travis area, at which several attendees tested positive for COVID-19. She stated the event, referred to as Pong Fest, took place in Spicewood, which is an area in Lakeway’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.

As part of her update on that party, Cox said the Lake Travis area has seen a significant jump in coronavirus cases since Pong Fest, but she could not speculate on the effects of that event on overall local COVID-19 numbers.

In the past week, there were 63 new COVID-19 cases in the Lake Travis region, which brought the total to 168 cases. Of that, an estimated 91 are active, according to Cox.

“I know what the No. 1 question is going to be: How much of that is due to Pong Fest? I have no idea,” she said, adding Lakeway does not have its own health department and cannot confirm testing details of this nature.

Cox also discussed an event that was supposed to take place at Emerald Point Bar & Grill north of Lakeway.

The restaurant, located along Lake Travis, had planned for a concert featuring famed '90s recording artist Vanilla Ice on July 3. This event was canceled by the owners June 2, and Cox said Abbott’s new order prevents this event from occurring anyway.
By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


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