Lewisville cancels Western Days, Rocktober events in fall

Lewisville's annual Western Days event, which includes gunfight reenactments, has been canceled this year due to budget and safety concerns related to the coronavirus. (File photo courtesy Michael Nguyen)
Lewisville's annual Western Days event, which includes gunfight reenactments, has been canceled this year due to budget and safety concerns related to the coronavirus. (File photo courtesy Michael Nguyen)

Lewisville's annual Western Days event, which includes gunfight reenactments, has been canceled this year due to budget and safety concerns related to the coronavirus. (File photo courtesy Michael Nguyen)

All in-person events for Western Days and Rocktober have been canceled this fall.

The Lewisville City Council voted unanimously to cancel the annual events at a July 6 meeting, following Gov. Greg Abbott's July 2 order requiring a mayor or county judge to approve gatherings larger than 10 people. The events were originally scheduled for late September and early October.

The cancellations come as Denton County and Lewisville have shown an increase in the COVID-19 testing positivity rate as well as increased signs of community spread, according to a presentation by city spokesperson James Kunke.

A decline in hotel revenue had also affected the budget for Western Days. Kunke said that while that revenue source has shown signs of recovery, another dip could cause more monetary cuts for the event.

Council members listened to a number of added precautions and money-saving measures for Western Days, but they also recognized that holding such a large event would create health and safety risks, regardless of those additional efforts.

"I think if we [were to] move forward, that smacks of 'do as I say, not as I do,'" City Council member TJ Gilmore said. "I can't put us in that position."

Western Days, which in recent years has included live music, mechanical bull rides, a cattle drive parade, gunfight reenactments and arts and crafts vendors, has been an annual event since 1965, according to the city.

The council also decided to cancel the Rocktober concert series because it was scheduled less than two weeks after Western Days and would likely be faced with similar circumstances. The Old Town Holiday Stroll, set to take place in December, will be discussed at a later date.

Lewisville staff are now pursuing the possibility of online streaming for performances that were originally booked for Western Days and Rocktober. More information on continuing the events virtually will be presented at future meetings.

The July 6 vote comes in addition to cancellations earlier this year of other city events, including the Sounds of Lewisville and Red, White and Lewisville, largely due to budgetary losses, Kunke said.

"We were hoping that by the end of September there would be some normalcy and we would be able to continue the Western Days tradition," Kunke said. "But that was an if—big, bold, underlined if—outdoor gatherings [were] allowed and if we can have suitable normal health protocols... and if hotel revenue supports it."
By Liesbeth Powers
Liesbeth graduated from Baylor University with a degree in new media journalism in December 2018. She gained her newspaper experience as a staff writer and multimedia editor at her campus paper, The Baylor Lariat. Liesbeth joined the Community Impact team in August 2019, where she reports on all things Plano and Richardson, including Plano City Council and Dallas Area Rapid Transit.


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Dec. 2 that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allotted 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to the state of Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
First allotment of COVID-19 vaccinations expected to arrive in Texas in mid-December

About 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been allotted to the state of Texas and will arrive the week of Dec. 14.

The town of Flower Mound is preparing to open Fire Station No. 7 in January. (Photo from town of Flower Mound Facebook page)
Flower Mound puts finishing touches on new fire station west of high school

Fire Station No. 7 is expected to open in January about a mile west of Flower Mound High School.

Fewer homes were listed for sale year over year in October throughout the North Texas suburbs, but buyers stayed active. (Daniel Houston/Community Impact Newspaper)
October market data: Homes sell quickly in Lewisville, Flower Mound, Highland Village

The average home in Lewisville sold after 25 days on the market, down from 36 days the same time last year.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has launched a campaign to address declining college enrollment numbers across the state since the pandemic started. (Courtesy Pexels)
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board launches campaign to boost college enrollment

The decline in college enrollment across the state of Texas has prompted several agencies to partner up and create online resources for students and counselors.

As of Nov. 30, patients confirmed to have COVID-19 filled 16.1% of hospital beds in Trauma Service Area E, which includes Collin, Denton, Tarrant and Dallas counties among others. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
North Texas hovers above key COVID-19 hospitalization threshold as further restrictions loom

North Texas businesses could face additional restrictions—including the closure of some bars—if area hospitals do not see a reversal in the number of COVID-19 patients within a matter of days.

Artio Birth Care opened in October at 614 S. Edmonds Lane, Ste. 205, Lewisville. The education center offers classes and groups for people preparing for childbirth. (Courtesy Artio Birth Care)
Artio Birth Care opens in Lewisville, plus 7 more DFW business updates

Here are eight recent business updates from across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

In Denton County, the number of beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients has been rising sharply since October. (Community Impact staff)
Tracking COVID-19: Where Denton County hospitalizations stand after Thanksgiving holiday

Hospitalizations in Denton County have climbed above a state threshold that, if sustained for a few more days, could trigger new restrictions on local businesses.

Artio Birth Care is now open and offering childbirth classes in Lewisville. (Courtesy Artio Birth Care)
Artio Birth Care now offering childbirth classes in Lewisville

The education center offers a series of classes and groups for people preparing for childbirth.

D'Ambrosio's #1 Pizza Pub will offer customers a friendly environment to enjoy a more contemporary style of Chicago deep-dish pizza. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
D'Ambrosio's pizzeria opens in Grapevine and more DFW news

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

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.

Flower Mound's economic development director is leaving the town staff for an opportunity in nearby Bedford. (Photo by Anna Herod/Community Impact Newspaper)
Flower Mound economic development director accepts new job with city of Bedford

Flower Mound’s Andrea Roy is moving on from the town staff after accepting a job in a nearby city.

Laura Colangelo
Q&A: Laura Colangelo discusses challenges facing private schools during pandemic

Colangelo said private schools have adapted to remote learning and other obstacles in 2020 despite less revenue and a 9% decline in enrollment statewide.