ENNIS — Ennis, known as the Bluebonnet City of Texas, is gearing up for the 2010 Bluebonnet Trails to be held Saturday and Sunday, April 17-18, sponsored by the Ennis Garden Club.

In recent years, the festival has attracted tens of thousands of visitors, said Gina Rokas, tourism director, Ennis Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“From all reports, the bluebonnets are going to be good this year,” she said. “Members of the Ennis Garden Club have said they are already up.”

She noted that the Ennis Convention and Visitors Bureau coordinates bus tours for visitors each year and every year it has from 30-35 buses filled with tourists who take the 1-1/2-2 hour tours with members of the Ennis Garden Club serving as tour guides.

“We sometimes are called on to plan customized itineraries for church groups and others that come to the festival,” Rokas said. “We'll include overnight accommodations, dining reservations, a visit to the railroad museum and shopping – and sometime we’ll contact the owner of one of our historic homes to schedule a tour.”

Ennis was designated by then Gov. George W. Bush in June 1997 as the official Bluebonnet City of Texas and the Bluebonnet Trails will celebrate its 59th anniversary this year.

Ennis Garden Club members Gayle Scott and Sandy Anderson will be on hand to assist in the festivities.

“We will have a tent set up on Main Street where we’ll be highlighting maps of the best views of bluebonnets all day long prior to the beginning of the Bluebonnet Festival,” Scott said. “For anyone who is interested in a painting class or doing photography, we will try to accommodate them.”

She noted that included in the event would be food vendors, homemade arts and crafts, a children’s area and entertainment.

“I believe this is going to be a banner year for bluebonnets. The plants begin to grow around October and November, and they are beginning to show now,” she said, saying that the rainfall will be a big factor in the growth of the bluebonnets.

For further information about the Bluebonnet Festival, contact Rokas at the Ennis Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-888-366-4748, visit the Web site at www.visitennis.org or e-mail ennis4U@swbell.net.

Contact Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com or 469-517-1450.