City officials weigh options for Celebrate Roanoke, consider canceling event

Officials with the city of Roanoke have considered canceling the city’s annual Celebrate Roanoke event in October. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
Officials with the city of Roanoke have considered canceling the city’s annual Celebrate Roanoke event in October. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)

Officials with the city of Roanoke have considered canceling the city’s annual Celebrate Roanoke event in October. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)

Officials with the city of Roanoke have considered canceling the city’s annual Celebrate Roanoke event in October.

Officials are weighing the city’s options after Grapefest in Grapevine and other large events in the area were canceled in recent weeks due to rising COVID-19 case counts.

“I hated to cancel the Roanoke Roundup and the Fourth of July celebration, and here we are talking about an event in October,” said Mayor Scooter Gierisch at a July 14 council meeting. “For the most part, major cities, such as Dallas and Fort Worth, have walked away from doing these major events.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the city’s focus has shifted to virtual events, City Manager Scott Campbell said. The main issue with Celebrate Roanoke is risk and whether the city should undertake a $130,000 endeavor, he said.

“Any closer [to the event], and we will have to begin committing funds,” he said. “If we get too far and decide to cancel it, suddenly we’re paying and not getting a lot back.”


Addressing council members, the city will need to decide whether to hold or postpone the event by the end of July, Campbell said. Campbell then set a regularly scheduled council meeting July 28 as the target date for a decision.

“If we cancel it, we need to cancel it because that’s what’s best for Roanoke and our citizens,” Mayor Pro Tem Holly Gray-Moore said. “At the end of the day, we need to make a decision for Roanoke and not for any other reason.”
By Ian Pribanic
Ian Pribanic covers city government, transportation, business and education news for Community Impact Newspaper in the Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth areas. A Washington D.C. native and University of North Texas graduate, Ian was previously an editor for papers in Oklahoma, West Texas and for Community Impact in New Braunfels.


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