National Polka Festival #40 - Saturday

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.....


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.


Look Nana, I have teeth

William now has teeth. Whoo Hoo!


My grandson is a Cool Kid!!

William filling his dad's shoes.

William and Eyore

William can't walk yet, but his dad has him climbing trees.

Tiger's roost updated

Tiger's roost has been updated with pictures of Martha.

40 is pretty cool!

Sunday was Mother's day and it was also my 40th birthday. We celebrated it all with food, cake, and presents at the Marchio's house. All in all, 40 is pretty cool. Scott gave me saddlebags for my new bike, the kids all gave me presents that they had chosen themselves and my sister in law picked up a really cool cake for me too. Although, she told me that we are now going by decades now instead of years therefore I only had a number 4 on my cake this year. HAHA

Me, opening the presents from the kids.

See my new saddlebags.

Me and Abby

Cool cake!

Rooms with views

The house has windows and doors as of last week. We also have electrical power now so the well is running too.

View of the back looking into the screened patio

View of the front

View from Scott's office

View from my office

View from the master bedroom



Filling the pond

This weekend Scott, Christopher, and Larry rented a trencher and did lots of work at the farm. One of the projects they tackled was constructing a fountain and pulling it into the middle of the pond so that it could be gradually filled by our new well. Here is the pond prior to filling.

They dug a trench from our well up and over the embankment to the pond. Then they laid lots of pipe and constructed the tacky, but functional fountain you see below.

Trench from well to pond

Trench from well to future garden site.

Scott and his plumbing handiwork

Installing the fountain

Isn't it lovely?

Larry is so proud


We have power (poles at least)

Normally I wouldn't consider a power pole to be an exciting item. However, in this case, it really is! The power company came out yesterday and placed all the poles down our driveway and today they were supposed to run the lines. Isn't she lovely? YIPEE!!