Western Days to broadcast live following in-person event cancellation

The festival would be broadcast live from the Medical City Lewisville Grand Theater to the city of Lewisville's social media outlets, websites and cable channels. (File photo courtesy Michael Nguyen)
The festival would be broadcast live from the Medical City Lewisville Grand Theater to the city of Lewisville's social media outlets, websites and cable channels. (File photo courtesy Michael Nguyen)

The festival would be broadcast live from the Medical City Lewisville Grand Theater to the city of Lewisville's social media outlets, websites and cable channels. (File photo courtesy Michael Nguyen)

City staff shared plans July 20 for a virtual version of the annual Lewisville Western Days festival following the event's cancellation.

The festival would be broadcast live from the Medical City Lewisville Grand Theater to the city of Lewisville's social media outlets, websites and cable channels.

It would be produced like a television show, spokesperson James Kunke said, with bands set up at different stages within the building. This will allow for continuous content, he said.

Events other than live concerts would also be an option for the virtual version of Western Days, Kunke said, such as the World Tamale Eating Championship and cooking demonstrations.

Health and safety protocols would include keeping staff to a minimum and preventing the public from entering the MCL Grand, according to Kunke.


The virtual version of Western Days is estimated to cost just under half of the original budget of the festival, he said. There are also options to have the broadcast span over two days, but members of City Council preferred a single-day event.

If pandemic conditions improve by the time Western Days is scheduled in late September, the city might encourage watch parties at local businesses or at Railroad Park in a socially distanced setting, Kunke said.

By keeping some portions of the event, the city is able to capitalize on the money already invested into Western Days, he said. Broadcasting may also allow Lewisville and its sponsors to reach a broader audience than in years past.

"We ... [are promoting] Lewisville ... [and] our sponsors to an online audience that, in theory, is global," Kunke said. "Certainly far beyond what we normally reach."
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, including education and transportation.


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