According to city officials, there are concerns about COVID-19 case counts rising in Denton County as well as the potential monetary commitment for a large-scale event. Celebrate Roanoke, normally held in October, costs upward of $130,000 each year, City Manager Scott Campbell said.
“After reviewing a few different scenarios for a virtual program, the direction was to cancel the event for October,” Campbell said. “Plans [are] to apply those expenses to bolster our live Christmas event the first Saturday in December.”
The city is expected to release details on the “new” Roanoke Christmas festival in the coming months, city spokesperson Morgan Roundy said. The reallocation of funds from Celebrate Roanoke is expected to make the December Christmas event “bigger and better than ever,” she said.
“We appreciate [the public’s] patience as we navigate through these difficult times,” she said.
The cancellation of Celebrate Roanoke follows cancellations of other large-scale events in the area, such as Grapefest in Grapevine. The issue with large gatherings is whether officials can enforce “safe and effective social distancing,” Roundy said.
“For the most part, major cities, such as Dallas and Fort Worth, have walked away from doing these major events,” Mayor Scooter Gierisch said. “I hated to cancel the Roanoke Roundup and Fourth of July celebration.”