National Polka Festival #40 – Friday

Since there has been no progress on the house building lately I thought I would share what we did for this Memorial Day weekend.

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.

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.

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