After being canceled last year, many big outdoor fall festivals are making a comeback, but one doctor says COVID-19 safety precautions are still important.
On Saturday, a line had formed before GrapeFest opened for the day. Inside the gates, hand sanitizing stations and masks were waiting for guests.
After a yearlong hiatus, the festival is back for its 35th year.
“The turnout has been fantastic, and everyone is happy," said Emily Henvey, spokeswoman for the Grapevine Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. "We’re seeing a lot of tickets sales happening online right now, and more people are coming. I think people are excited to get out."
Mark Kissinger, who attended GrapeFest Saturday, said he feels safe going to festivals because his family is vaccinated.
“That’s actually my recommendation, get vaccinated," Kissinger said. "That’s what you should be doing to help prevent it from spreading."
GrapeFest, which runs through Sunday, is one of several big events happening around North Texas this month. The State Fair of Texas begins Sept. 24 and Addison Oktoberfest runs through the weekend.
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Dr. Jo Anna Leuck is cautioning people not to get complacent at fall festivals.
Leuck, assistant dean of curriculum for the Texas Christian University and UNT Health Science Center School of Medicine, encouraged people to wear masks, even outdoors.
“Just think about how crowded those spaces can still get, with lines for food and rides and other things. That’s really the safest advice," said Leuck, who practices emergency medicine at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth. "If you’re within 6 feet of others, and especially in a crowded space, keep wearing that mask, even if you’re vaccinated."