Annual festival celebrates Czech heritage

54th National Polka Festival provides fun weekend of activities for whole family

Patty Hullett
Daily Light correspondent
A little girl is dressed in traditional Czech attire riding a float during the National Polka Festival Parade in Ennis on Saturday.
A closeup look at the Kolache mascot during the  National Polka Festival parade in Ennis on Saturday.
A woman in traditional Czech costume drives a tractor during the Ennis Polka Fest parade last Saturday.
Downtown Is overrun with festival-goers at the National Polka Festival in Ennis over the Memorial Day weekend.

ENNIS — The City of Ennis celebrated 54 years of Czech heritage and traditions last Friday through Sunday at several different venues around the downtown area and beyond.

Held every year on Memorial Day Weekend, the National Polka Festival offered an abundance of activities to be enjoyed by folks of all ages in a small-town atmosphere.

On Friday evening, May 28, the holiday weekend was kicked-off with Czech band offerings at various event halls all across the city. The first order of the festival was crowning the 2021 Polka Festival King and Queen to reign over the 3-day schedule of activities.

On Saturday morning, May 29, the annual Polka Parade was enjoyed by some of the largest parade crowds in recent years. It may have been partly because of COVID-19 canceling last year’s affair in 2020 because of the uncertain times during the heart of the pandemic. But last week’s huge crowds reflected the happiness to get back to normal living, including partying with people traveling to Ennis from cities all across the nation.

Some of the noteworthy scheduled events included: Polka Fest Run, Annual Parade, Kolache-eating contest, open-air arts and crafts and food booths up and down the recently renovated downtown streets, kids outdoor rock-climbing walls, bouncy houses, paddle boats, etc.

In the evenings, mostly Czech heritage bands played in halls scattered around town. There was plenty of dancing, socializing, and lots of beer drinking. Fun times were had, and this annual event was an overwhelming success.