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Ennis Daily News

Parade delayed by train, not rain

At 10 a.m., Saturday in downtown Ennis the talk of the Polka Festival wasn’t the extravagantly decorated parade floats, the entertaining music at the halls or even the winner of the Polka King and Queen Dance Contest. Instead, the most asked question and biggest concern of nearly every onlooker and visitor to the 43rd Annual National Polka Festival was, “What’s going on with the train?”
For more than an hour city officials and police were anxiously trying to solve the puzzle of how to get pedestrians from the east side of Main Street to the west side in order to view the Polka Parade with a train sitting at a standstill between the two spots. It would occasionally move forward or backward, but it stayed across the Ennis Ave. intersection while the streets were packed with families waiting for the parade to start. Dark clouds were moving overhead and some of us were a little nervous.
The police scanner was buzzing with chatter about whether or not the tracks were clear for the engineer to move the train. Thankfully there were plenty of police and law enforcement workers at the polka festival to deal with the problem.
It wasn’t until 10:49 a.m. that the Ennis Noon Lions Club was given the go-ahead to let the parade begin. As the train cleared the intersection a cheer went up among the crowd lining Ennis Avenue. Thankfully the rain never came.
Once the parade got rolling, what a parade it was. With almost 90 entries ranging from marching groups to expertly decorated floats, this year’s parade was a definite crowd-pleaser. The festivities lasted for an hour and judging from the smiles in the crowd, the delayed start only made folks appreciate the parade that much more. The organizers and police officers should be commended for their work under tough circumstances.
It just goes to show that even after 43 years and endless hours of planning, not everything is going to go as smoothly as planned when it comes to the National Polka Festival. Hopefully despite the hiccups along the way on Saturday, everyone had a good time and will come back next year.

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Posted by on May 25 2009. 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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