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.”