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Polka fest strides into Memorial weekend

42nd annual festival kicks off Friday with King & Queen contest
The 42nd annual National Polka Festival kicks off Friday night and runs all Memorial Day Weekend (May 23-25), to the delight of thousands of visitors who will take part in the traditional Czech entertainment.
The festival, featuring a King and Queen contest, a parade and a stellar lineup of music acts, is the biggest draw for visitors to the city and Ennis Tourism Director Gina Rokas is gearing up for a busy weekend.
“We’re very excited about the upcoming festival,” Rokas said. “There’s been a lot of buzz about this year’s fest. We’ve had polka brochure requests from over seven different states. This is truly a national event as it brings thousands of visitors from Texas and from out of state. Polka music makes people happy; you can’t help but smile when you hear the polka beat. We encourage everyone to come join the fun.”
During the course of the weekend, venues like KJT Auditorium, the Knights of Columbus Hall and the host location, Sokol Hall, will host a variety of singers and bands, including the headliner concert event on Saturday evening featuring Jason Boland and the Stragglers with special guests, the Jesse Jennings Band.
The concert begins at 9 p.m. at the Sokol Hall. Tickets are available for $18 in advance at the Sports Connection or $25 at the door. There are also Hall package deals available online at www.nationalpolksfestival.com
Other events to be held during the weekend include the kick off to the festival – the King and Queen Dance contest Friday evening, May 23, at 9 p.m. at the Sokol Hall.
This event has been held for more than 20 years and begins with the outgoing king and queen dancing their last dance. The couple chosen for this honor serves as ambassadors for the festival, appearing in the parade on Saturday and dancing at each of the recreation halls over the weekend.
The parade begins at 10 a.m. and will follow the traditional parade route through the downtown area, ending on E. Ennis Ave.
The National Polka Festival annual Horseshoefest will be held Saturday, May 24 at 2 p.m. at the KJT Auditorium.
Teams must be registered by noon and pay an entry fee of $20 for advance registration or $30 the day of the event. It is a double elimination contest with trophies awarded to winning teams. For more information on the event visit the National Polka Festival’s Web site at www.nationalpolkafestival.com or e-mail horseshoefest@yahoo.com
The Ennis Rotary Club will hold its 10th annual Ennis Polka Fest Run on Saturday, May 24 with registration from 5:45 to 7 a.m.
“This is such a fun part of the festival for us,” said Rotary President Jane Mize. “And it’s getting more and more popular. We encourage all to come out and help us make a run for it!”
The starting location will be on Yorkstown Drive in front of Lonestar Fitness and the race will wind its way through residential streets and finish on the east side of Lonestar Fitness.
Post race activities will also be held including food and entertainment.
There are three runs participants can choose from, including a 10-K race with a start time of 7 a.m., a 1-mile Fun Run/Walk with a 7:15 a.m. start time and a 5-K race with a start time of 7:30 a.m. Awards will be given at 8:30 a.m. Online registration can be completed at www.active.com or for more information contact the Ennis Chamber of Commerce at 972-878-2625.
Polka Fest weekend gives ample opportunity for participants in the 8th annual Polka Pictures photo contest to get great shots in all three categories this year: Heritage Costumed Children/Families, NPF Parade and NPF Halls and Street Activities.
Entries must be submitted by June 30, 2008 to the Ennis Convention and Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 1237, Ennis, Texas 75120. For more information contact the ECVB at 1-888-366-4748 or visit www.visitennis.org.
Winners will be notified and photos may be used in upcoming promotional materials.
A complete list of events and schedules can be found on the National Polka Festival’s Web site at www.nationalpolkafestival.com or in today’s National Polka Festival special section in the Ennis Daily News.

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Posted by on May 21 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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