Grapevine cancels GrapeFest amid COVID-19 concerns

Two guests touch glasses at a previous GrapeFest event. (Courtesy Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau)
Two guests touch glasses at a previous GrapeFest event. (Courtesy Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau)

Two guests touch glasses at a previous GrapeFest event. (Courtesy Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau)

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include more information.

The city of Grapevine announced July 13 the cancellation of this year's GrapeFest festival.

This year's wine festival would have marked Grapevine’s 34th year of hosting the event. The four-day festival typically attracts more than 250,000 visitors. It was scheduled to be held in Grapevine’s Main Street area Sept. 17-20.

Grapevine Chamber of Commerce CEO RaDonna Hessel said the cancellation of this year’s GrapeFest will come as tough news to local businesses and nonprofits.

"I think for most businesses, they are in the same quandary that our citizens and our city is in,” Hessel said. "They enjoy the event because it does provide people for shopping, but at the same time, it also provides a lot of people.”

Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau media relations Director Sophia Stoller shared similar sentiments as Hessel, and said the bureau ultimately decided to cancel the event for the health and safety of its residents and would-be attendees.

The decision came as Texas continues to see spikes in COVID-19 cases. As of the publication of this story, Texas had an estimated 122,828 active COVID-19 cases, according to the state’s health and human services department.

Grapevine’s total case count was 283 as of July 12, according to the Tarrant County Public Health department. The county health department also ranked the community spread level as of July 12 as substantial.

“We made the difficult decision to cancel the festival,” Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Paul W. McCallum said in a press release. He further cited concerns for the safety of guests, volunteers, staff, sponsors and vendors.

The festival typically includes wine tastings, live entertainment, festival food and a people’s choice wine competition. The competition would have featured 45 Texas wineries as well as 240 wines from around the world.

Steve and Maggie Haley would have been this year's GrapeFest co-chairpersons. They said in the release that would-be attendees, volunteers, sponsors and vendors must look forward to holding the next GrapeFest event in 2021.

“GrapeFest is one of Grapevine’s marquee festivals that we take great pride in showcasing not only for the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, but to visitors from around the world,” they said in the release.
By Gavin Pugh
Gavin has reported for Community Impact Newspaper since June 2017. His beat has included Dallas Area Rapid Transit, public and higher education, school and municipal governments and more. He now serves as the editor of the Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake edition.


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