Saturday at the National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas 2006
Jak se mas? or How are you? This is the phrase I learned this year at the festival. You can see other cool phrases and tons of other interesting Czech stuff by clicking here.
Saturday's activities started early. We made it to Ennis by 9am so we could get a parking spot for the downtown events. We landed a great parking spot and then went to a little grassy area on the side of the railroad tracks that gave us a good view of the parade route. Here I am again in my costume waiting for the parade to start. Scott said I looked like a little girl in the first one. Hmmmmm.
The parade started at 10am and like most parades had cheerleaders, bands, vehicles, clowns and of course horses. One thing that is different about this parade is that the floats are carrying the Czech bands on them and the demonstration dancers from Ohio and Oklahoma. I hope you enjoy the pictures.
After the parade we walked through the vendor booths downtown. Of course, there were food vendors too so I had possibly the largest corn dog I have ever had and Scott had a boring hot dog. I was able to get a souvenir cup though. HAHA
When we finished walking around downtown it was off to the halls for another afternoon and evening of dancing. We went to the Sokol hall to see the Dujka Brothers play and while we were there we saw a demonstration by the Sokol Greater Cleveland Folk Dancers. Their demonstration was a reenactment of a Czech village ceremony of sorts that welcomed in Summer. They did this by doing several dances and then the women of the "village" danced around the Maypole. The end result of this weaving of ribbons around the Maypole can be seen by the braid at the top of the pole when they are finished.
We had dinner at this hall that, for Scott at least, consisted of pork roast, dumplings, parsley potatoes, green beans and sauerkraut. I waited for the next hall where I could get some great bar-b-que.
When the folk dancers were about finished we headed over to the KC hall again where we would spend the remainder of the day and evening. While we were there we were treated to two of the finest Polka bands in the southwest, Vrazels' Polka Band and the Jodie Mikula Orchestra. The halls are always packed when they are playing.
My dad and step mom were able to join us here and I got in as much dancing with my dad as I could before they had to leave.
Before my dad left he snapped this photo of Scott and I dancing. Isn't this a cool picture and doesn't it look like Scott is having a good time?
One of the things I think is great about this festival is that it is for the entire family. Kids in this culture are taught to dance at a very young age and they get to know others of the same heritage. The kids that attend the festival take to the floor during every intermission and play slip and slide on the dance floor. In order to make the floor slippery enough for dancing the halls put down a dust all over the hardwood and the kids love it, too!
I am not sure if we drove the car back to the hotel or if it drove us because we were so exhausted and our feet hurt a lot. The bands stopped playing at 12:30am and we made it back to the hotel around 1. I don't think I have ever felt a more comfortable bed (at least that is what I was thinking then). Sunday morning came a little too soon for our tired legs, but we just had to return for one last day of festival fun. To be continued.....