Ennis Chamber of Commerce president Jeannette Patak recently announced that preliminary plans and preparations are well under way for upcoming festival events in Ennis.

The Bluebonnet Festival, which is sponsored each year by the Ennis Garden Club, is always a very popular event, she said, noting it is “highly lauded by the chamber as one of the most popular events of the year.”  

This year, the festival will be held the weekend of April 19-20.  

“We anticipate bluebonnets galore for the many visitors to Ennis and are preparing for the Garden Club’s successful weekend of exciting downtown activities,” she said.  

One of the chamber events during the festival will be to sponsor a barbecue cook-off at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

“We are in the process of working on entry applications, looking for sponsors, judges and volunteers, so if you are interested in any of these areas, please contact our chamber office at 972-878-2625,” Patak said. “We are excited about this event. It always brings a lot of people to Ennis and this year we plan to add some games, fun and some grub for those visitors too.”   

The 42nd National Polka Festival will be held May 24-25.

“Our chamber team is primed and ready for this year’s upcoming polka events,” Patak said. “Chamber members have been meeting with the Polka Festival Association members to discuss the upcoming Polka Festival plans, and we’re all gearing up for this year’s preparations with excitement.”

The chamber’s annual parade on Saturday of the festival kicks off at 10 a.m. and is followed by the opening ceremonies at the downtown pavilion.

“Our plans are to schedule a number of downtown activities this year,” Patak said. “Our motto will be to ‘Sell the Heart out of Ennis.’ Of course, we will have downtown arts and crafts and food vendors, as we have had in the past and, this year, we will also have the ever-popular street dancing with Czech bands playing downtown.”

On Saturday, the Ennis Czech Boys will play from noon-4 p.m.; the Dujka Brothers will play from noon-4 p.m. Sunday.   

“Our efforts are to find other activities to tie in as much downtown activities as possible,” Patak said. “Many of the ideas are still in the works, but we will announce them as they materialize and we hope to add some new ideas to ignite the festival activities this year.”   

Vendors are already being signed up, so people are encouraged to get their applications into the chamber.

“Many of our chamber members volunteer for positions at the Polka Festival, such as Laurie Mah, who will be our volunteer coordinator, but we will need many others to step up to the plate between now and Polka Festival weekend, for there are many and varied jobs to be done,” Patak said.

Anyone who would like to help with the Polka Festival plans, preparations and activities can call the chamber office and speak with executive secretary Kimberly King at 972-878-2625.