Many of the busiest days of the year in downtown Grapevine occur during the holiday season, according to information presented to council.

Grapevine City Council received an update on the number of visitors in the Christmas Capital of Texas event area during its Feb. 6 meeting. Market Research Manager Steven Jones said some of the most visited days included Carol of Lights with another sustained spike through Christmas Day.

The overview

To gather data about overall foot traffic in downtown Grapevine, Jones said the city uses Placer AI, which pings cell phone data within a specified area. Based on collected data, he added that about 30% of holiday visits occurred between 6-9 p.m.

Jones said peak attendance of the drone shows occurred around 8 p.m, according to the presentation, and was about 13,000 for the Dec. 2 show, and around 18,000 for the Dec. 9 and Dec. 16 shows. Data presented by Jones showed Dec. 16 had the highest number of visitors in Grapevine with the estimated attendance at the final drone show being 33,800 people.

“It was incredibly busy; the data supports that,” City Manager Bruno Rumbelow said. “The drone shows added to an already incredibly busy Saturday.”

What’s next?

Rumbelow said the council briefing was part of the process where staff analyze last year’s event and seek input on how to make the next Christmas Capital of Texas event better. Down the road, he said city staff will gather input from council.

Several council members said they would like city staff to take a look at how to make large events, such as Carol of Lights, safer around the railroad crossing area downtown.

“It’s important to keep digging and making changes in order to be able to have robust visitation during that time but also to space it out and do it in such a way that it is manageable,” Rumbelow said. “Our goal over the next month is to continue those conversations, come up with a plan for Christmas 2024 ... and lay out the changes we can make.”