Community remembers Gayle Hall, Grapevine native and longtime director of festivals, events

Gayle Hall was known by friends, family and the community for having a tremendous pride in her hometown. (Courtesy LuAnn Chapman Gatts)
Gayle Hall was known by friends, family and the community for having a tremendous pride in her hometown. (Courtesy LuAnn Chapman Gatts)

Gayle Hall was known by friends, family and the community for having a tremendous pride in her hometown. (Courtesy LuAnn Chapman Gatts)

Perhaps you do not know Gayle Hall, but if you have enjoyed any of Grapevine’s downtown festivals, you have enjoyed the fruits of her labor.

She became the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau director of festivals and events in 1998—a role she occupied for more than two decades until she died Aug. 22 at the age of 68.

During her tenure as director of festivals and events, GrapeFest, Main Street Fest, the city’s famous Christmas festivities and other events such as Butterfly Flutterby that Grapevine is known for continued to grow in popularity.

“The festivals grew because ... they were produced at a high quality,” Grapevine Mayor William Tate said. “Gayle was able to produce an environment through her organization and leadership ... where people wanted to come back year after year.”

Tate said Hall became the face of Grapevine’s festivals. Grapevine Mayor Pro Tem Darlene Freed agreed.

“You’ll see a million pictures of her, having been involved in running festivals, and she’s always got the headset on,” Freed said. “If there was anything that you needed to get done during a festival—one call to Gayle, and we knew it was taken care of.”

Hall’s life was celebrated Aug. 31 at First Baptist Church in Grapevine with a memorial service that was followed by a horse-drawn hearse procession to the Grapevine Convention Center, where attendees enjoyed a reception titled “Gayle’s Taste of Grapevine” featuring local restaurants. Many attendees were past festival volunteers who wore shirts from the events they worked. Others were staff from the city's many departments, many of whom had coordinated with Hall over the years to pull off the various events, according to Freed.

Hall, a Grapevine native, was recognized in January as D.E. Box Citizen of the Year by the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce.

“As far as I’m concerned, we work and live in the best community that we can live in—and I support it 150%,” Hall said in accepting the award. “And if you don’t, then get off the wagon.”

That pride in Grapevine is something her brother, Junior Hall, said comes from the family’s long tradition in the city. Junior Hall said the family arrived in Grapevine from Prussia in the 1870s and later operated a grocery store and the Catfish Hut, a longtime staple of the community that is the property occupied by Paradise Cove.

“We’re very proud of our history in this town,” Junior Hall said. “We are actually fifth-generation here. ... [Gayle] was always proud of Grapevine because she was raised here.”

Gayle Hall was Miss Grapevine Lake in 1968 and was an active volunteer with the city before taking on the director role she later occupied. Tate said the work ethic Gayle Hall brought to her role with the CVB was characteristic of the family.

As the festivals grew in stature, Hall worked longer hours and had even more responsibilities.

According to LuAnn Chapman Gatts, a close friend of Gayle Hall and a longtime festival volunteer, Gayle Hall proactively sought out further training and accreditation in her role and became involved with the International Festival and Events Association.

“She actually learned the festival event business on the job—she was committed to education,” Chapman said. “She knew that if you're going to be in the business, you have to be the best.”

Gayle Hall was known to speak her mind, and close friends acknowledged she was not someone to mess around with. In spite of that, she was also known to be fiercely loyal to anyone who worked or volunteered for the city.

“You did not mess with a volunteer,” Chapman said. “She just was incredibly protective of the people that she knew and loved and worked with.”

Freed points to the bond that Gayle Hall developed with the city’s various employees whom she had to work with to see the festivals came to fruition.

In a Facebook post by the city of Grapevine on Aug. 30, Gayle Hall was described as "a pillar of the Grapevine community" with the post going on to say her community pride will be missed by the community at large.

“She was a force of nature,” Chapman said.
By Steven Ryzewski
Steven Ryzewski is the editor for Community Impact Newspaper's Grapevine-Colleyville-Southlake and Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth editions. Before joining Community Impact in 2021, he worked in hyperlocal journalism for nine years in Central Florida as an editor, sports editor and correspondent.


Mark Latham runs Latitudes along with his wife in Grapevine. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Local nonprofit Latitudes helps communities abroad become financially stable through craft sales

“We want to erase that stigma of what they can and what they can't do, based on their own abilities—not what someone else may be saying or doing," said Mark Latham, owner of Grapevine-based nonprofit Latitudes.

A positive West Nile virus sample was found near 240 McDonwell School Road in Colleyville on Sept. 20. (Courtesy Pexels)
Mosquito fogging to take place in Colleyville Sept. 21 after 13th positive West Nile virus sample

Truck-mounted fogging for mosquitoes near 240 McDonwell School Road in Colleyville will take place Sept. 21 due to a positive West Nile virus sample.

Fajita Pete's opened in Colleyville on Sept. 20. (Courtesy Fajita Pete's)
Fajita Pete's now open in Colleyville's Stampede Shopping Center

Fajita Pete's in Colleyville is owned by franchisee Christopher Enright and opened Sept. 20.

SkateTown first opened in June 1997. (Courtesy SkateTown)
Former SkateTown property in Grapevine sold to Carrollton-based group

The Carrollton-based group is considering a reconfiguration of the former SkateTown property in Grapevine.

Compass has offices across DFW, including in Plano, Southlake, Highland Village and Frisco. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Real estate company Compass acquires LegacyTexas Title

The acquisition will strengthen Compass’ title and escrow portfolio and enable further integration of the company’s brokerage and related services, according to a company release.

La Myrrah is now open at The Shops at Highland Village. (Valerie Wigglesworth/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lingerie shop opens in Highland Village; Crepe Delicious coming to Frisco and more DFW news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

man with statues
Grapevine's new Peace Circle has 11 bronze statues featuring Sam Houston, Native American chiefs

The new public art installation in Grapevine features statues of Republic of Texas President Sam Houston and Native American chiefs from the Delaware, Chickasaw, Waco, Tawakoni, Keechi, Caddo, Anadarko, Ioni, Biloxi and Cherokee nations.

Volunteers with signs.
13th annual NTX Giving Day partners with record 3,300-plus nonprofits

A fundraiser started by Communities Foundation of Texas connects donors with nonprofits in their area.

New fixtures are being installed at the Cannaday Recreation Area near Clark Middle School. The 4-acre park is being redesigned as an athletic training hub. A budget of $500,000 will bring an obstacle course not unlike something from the “American Ninja Warrior” TV show to the neighborhood. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
Collin County adopts budget and property tax rate; Frisco prioritizes parks and trails development, plus more top news from DFW

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

DATA: How population changed in Texas counties between census counts in 2010, 2020

Texas added nearly four million people between 2010 and 2020, according to the latest Census data.

The theme for this year's GrapeFest is “Texas Wine. Come and Taste It!” (Courtesy Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau)
35th Annual GrapeFest underway in downtown Grapevine

The four-day event opened Thursday, Sept. 16 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 19. The theme for this year’s GrapeFest is “Texas Wine. Come and Taste It!”

Tarrant County total tax rate for fiscal year 2022 includes a maintenance and operation rate of $0.213553 per $100 valuation and a debt service rate of $0.015447 per $100 valuation. (Courtesy Pexels)
Tarrant County commissioners approve fiscal year 2021-22 tax rates

The Commissioners Court unanimously adopted a total tax rate of $0.229000 per $100 valuation for Tarrant County in fiscal year 2022 on Sept. 14.