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Ennis Daily News

Polka Fest ready to roll today

Safety measures are focus of city as fest gets underway
The city of Ennis is taking measures to ensure a safe as well as fun Polka Festival this year with expanded police presence and traffic advisories.
Beginning today through Sunday the Ennis Police Department’s patrol presence will be heightened, including double patrol duty during anticipated peak hours of the Polka Festival Weekend, which are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In addition to the full Ennis police force, members of the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and undercover narcotics agents will also be on shift throughout the weekend.
According to the Ennis Police Department, officers will be especially concerned with enforcing the following laws relating to the safety of festival spectators and participants:
• Public intoxication
• Disorderly conduct
• Driving while intoxicated
• Speeding (all radar units will be in operation during the weekend)
• Over-loading of vehicles (excessive number of persons riding in the rear of pickups and automobiles)
• Hanging on vehicles
• Illegal parking in “No Parking” zones or fire lanes (especially at area recreation halls and clubs)
While the police department will attempt to notify the owners of any vehicles that are illegally parked, all illegally parked vehicles will be towed at the owner’s expense.
The city will restrict S. Paris Street from Kaufman Street (Hwy. 75) to Creechville Road (FM 1181) to one-way traffic going north all day Saturday and Sunday, May 24-25. Motorists traveling to KJT Hall will be required to enter onto Paris Street from Kaufman only. Motorists leaving KJT Hall will be required to drive north only on Paris Street to Creechville Road.
No parking will be allowed behind parade barricades or the blocking of streets and alleyways.
Crowd control is another primary concern of the police officers patrolling the downtown area of the parade and subsequent events. Any individual that initiates an act of disorderly conduct, or any other unsafe act, will be immediately arrested.
The Ennis Police Department, along with all other public safety personnel on duty during this weekend, will strictly enforce all state laws to ensure a safe and enjoyable Polka Festival for everyone.
No parking will be allowed on W. Ennis Avenue from Main to Clay streets, on Saturday, May 24, to allow ample room for the crowd watching the annual Polka Festival Parade. City officials have stated any vehicle parked in the area will be towed away until the parking ban expires. The ban will extend from 6 a.m. until noon.
According to City Manager Steve Howerton, the purpose for the parking restriction is to provide safe viewing of the parade by spectators along the sidewalks and to aid city personnel in crowd control. In outlining city activities during the Polka Festival, city officials emphasize their main objective is providing a safe and entertaining experience for all attendees.
A city official said, “Any individual responsible for initiating disorderly conduct or unsafe acts will be arrested immediately.
The Ennis Police Department will strictly enforce all state laws relating to the safety and rights of all citizens.”
The rules to be enforced include no throwing of candy or other items from parade floats due to this activity often luring small children into the path of oncoming vehicles and no glass bottles or glass containers in the downtown area.
All citizens are urged to use only paper, plastic cups or metal containers for the safety of all festival attendees. All containers and other trash should be placed in one of the 40 litter barrels located on city streets and sidewalks. Ennis officials urge all citizens to obey the non-glass container restrictions for the safety and comfort of everyone.
It should be noted the Ennis Public Library parking lot is reserved for handicapped patrons on Saturday morning.
The library will be closed Saturday, May 24 and Monday, May 26.
The city listed eight “Do’s” and “Don’ts” for people attending the Polka Festival.
The list of things to do include:
• Have a good time.
• Be a gracious host to our guests and visitors.
• Drive friendly and safe.
• Obey all restricted parking zones.
• Put litter in trash barrels.
• Be a good and lawful citizen.
• Cooperate with all city and law officials.
• Carry and use only paper and plastic cups and metal containers.
On the don’t list are:
• Don’t park on Ennis Avenue on Saturday morning.
• Don’t block fire emergency lanes at organizational halls and public buildings.
• Don’t throw candy from parade floats.
• Don’t litter.
• Don’t drive if you drink.
• Don’t speed.
• Don’t park at the Ennis Public Library unless you have a handicapped parking permit.
•Don’t carry bottles or glass containers.

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Posted by on May 23 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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