Saturday at the National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas 2006

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

Jak se mas? or How are you? This is the phrase I learned this year at the festival. You can see other cool phrases and tons of other interesting Czech stuff by clicking here.

Saturday’s activities started early. We made it to Ennis by 9am so we could get a parking spot for the downtown events. We landed a great parking spot and then went to a little grassy area on the side of the railroad tracks that gave us a good view of the parade route. Here I am again in my costume waiting for the parade to start. Scott said I looked like a little girl in the first one. Hmmmmm.

The parade started at 10am and like most parades had cheerleaders, bands, vehicles, clowns and of course horses. One thing that is different about this parade is that the floats are carrying the Czech bands on them and the demonstration dancers from Ohio and Oklahoma. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

After the parade we walked through the vendor booths downtown. Of course, there were food vendors too so I had possibly the largest corn dog I have ever had and Scott had a boring hot dog. I was able to get a souvenir cup though. HAHA

When we finished walking around downtown it was off to the halls for another afternoon and evening of dancing. We went to the Sokol hall to see the Dujka Brothers play and while we were there we saw a demonstration by the Sokol Greater Cleveland Folk Dancers. Their demonstration was a reenactment of a Czech village ceremony of sorts that welcomed in Summer. They did this by doing several dances and then the women of the “village” danced around the Maypole. The end result of this weaving of ribbons around the Maypole can be seen by the braid at the top of the pole when they are finished.

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

We had dinner at this hall that, for Scott at least, consisted of pork roast, dumplings, parsley potatoes, green beans and sauerkraut. I waited for the next hall where I could get some great bar-b-que.

When the folk dancers were about finished we headed over to the KC hall again where we would spend the remainder of the day and evening. While we were there we were treated to two of the finest Polka bands in the southwest, Vrazels’ Polka Band and the Jodie Mikula Orchestra. The halls are always packed when they are playing.

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

My dad and step mom were able to join us here and I got in as much dancing with my dad as I could before they had to leave.

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

Before my dad left he snapped this photo of Scott and I dancing. Isn’t this a cool picture and doesn’t it look like Scott is having a good time?

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

One of the things I think is great about this festival is that it is for the entire family. Kids in this culture are taught to dance at a very young age and they get to know others of the same heritage. The kids that attend the festival take to the floor during every intermission and play slip and slide on the dance floor. In order to make the floor slippery enough for dancing the halls put down a dust all over the hardwood and the kids love it, too!

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

I am not sure if we drove the car back to the hotel or if it drove us because we were so exhausted and our feet hurt a lot. The bands stopped playing at 12:30am and we made it back to the hotel around 1. I don’t think I have ever felt a more comfortable bed (at least that is what I was thinking then). Sunday morning came a little too soon for our tired legs, but we just had to return for one last day of festival fun. To be continued…..

National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas 2006

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

Since there has been no progress on the house building lately I thought I would share what we did for this Memorial Day weekend. It was the 40th Annual National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas.

This weekend was a special one for me because it was the first time I was able to attend the National Polka Festival in Ennis, Texas in about 14 years. I grew up in Texas and I am of Czech heritage. My family attended this festival every year as I was growing up and as a result I learned to dance Czech dances at the age of 5. Dancing has always been a big part of my life and going back to Ennis for the festival was a real treat for me. I hope to renew the tradition and make it an annual event for me and my family once again.

This festival is held every year on Memorial Day weekend and this was their 40th year. The weekend started with a dance Friday night, the 26th, from 7pm to 9pm at the Knights of Columbus (or KC for short) hall. Throughout this festival weekend there is no shortage of music, dancing, and fun for all ages. The food is always phenomenal as well. Friday evening we had dinner at the hall which consisted of bar-b-que sandwiches and klobase with kolaches and strudel for dessert.

The Harvesters from Lancaster, Texas were the scheduled band for Friday night and the hall was packed. We danced to practically every dance tune the band played. This selection consisted of mostly waltzes and polkas with a few country two step tunes thrown in for variety.

Later in the evening several couples competed in the National Polka Festival King and Queen contest. It was a typical dance competition with numbers pinned to the contestants backs and all. We were encouraged to cheer on our favorite couple as they danced by our table. The couple who were ultimately crowned were then required to ride in the parade the next day and attend the remainder of the festival, making appearances at all the halls and dancing for the crowds. They are fantastic dancers and we were able to see them several times throughout the weekend at the different halls.

After the King and Queen were crowned I tried on several Czech costumes from a vendor at the hall and purchased my first authentic Czech costume. After this purchase, there was little need for the clothing that I brought with me because I wore the costume the rest of the weekend. My costume consists of a red, full skirt, a white shirt with puffy sleeves and a wide lacy collar, and a black vest. The vendor had hair accessories available for purchase too. But since I am one of those people who says “I can make that”, we went to Wal-mart at 1am after the dance where I bought flowers, ribbon and hair clips. Then we went back to the hotel where I made my hair clip that you see in the photo below and the ones in future posts.

40th National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas

Thoroughly exhausted, we collapsed in bed for a few hours of rest before having to be back in Ennis for the parade Saturday morning at 10am.

Rooms with a View Now with Windows

The house has windows and doors as of last week. We also have electrical power now so the well is running too.  I can’t even say how long it seems to have take to get to this point but having electricity now running to the house is a big deal, but it is nice to finally see some windows and get an idea of what the view from our house finally will be when we move in.


View of the back looking into the screened patio


View of the front


View from Scott’s office


View from my office


View from the master bedroom


Well