Polka Fest: A Whole Other World in the Neighborhood




The musical group Alpenmusikanten performs for the street dance in downtown Ennis from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 26.

One of the largest polka festivals in the country is right next door -- and happening this weekend, May 24 through 27 -- in Ennis, Texas.

At the National Polka Festival, music is obviously center stage. Enjoy a weekend of polka dancing with 14 sensational live polka bands performing downtown and at the iconic fraternal venues known as KJT, KC and Sokol halls. Parker McCollum is the headliner at the 9 p.m. concert. Tickets are $14 in advanced or $18 on the day of the event.

The founders and their successors have insisted on maintaining the authenticity and values of the Czech tradition even today. The event still has the feel of "a little bit of old Czechoslovakia."

 The festival has one of the biggest parades, set for Saturday morning, in the surrounding areas. After the parade there is an abundance of activities to be enjoyed by the entire family. 

An annual favorite, the Kolache Eating Contest, happens at 1 p.m. Saturday. Guests can also shop the streets of downtown Ennis on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from vendors with unique works of art, fashion favorites and more.

Kids will have a good time playing and participating in activities such as face painting, a rock climbing wall, and bounce houses.

Enjoy great fair foods like corn dogs, funnel cakes and fresh squeezed lemonade as well as traditional Czech favorites like klobase sandwiches, klobase on a stick, kolaches and the downtown Pivo (Beer) Pavilion.

One-day only admission is $9 Friday, $13 Saturday and $10 Sunday. One daily admission includes all participating halls. A three-day event pass is $29. Children 12 and under are free. 

[Information from www.nationalpolkafestival.com.]

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