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Czech Republic 1st Deputy Prime Minister to visit; 45th annual National Polka Festival to be held

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ENNIS - The National Polka Festival Committee, North Texas Czech Organizing Committee and officials of the city of Ennis are honored to host 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Karel Schwarzenberg and several Czech dignitaries during the 45th annual National Polka Festival this weekend.

Schwarzenberg will participate in a brief meet-and-greet session with local businessmen and women Saturday, May 28.

After this reception, Schwarzenberg will be honored as the grand marshal of the 45th Annual National Polka Festival parade at 10 a.m. in downtown Ennis as well as taking part in the opening ceremonies following the parade. 

At this time, the 1st Deputy Prime Minister is expected to honor several veterans who served under U.S. General George Patton’s Third Army in the liberation of Czechoslovakia in World War II and also post-war efforts in Czechoslovakia.

After the opening ceremonies, the delegation will make stops at the KJT Auditorium, Knights of Columbus Hall and Sokol Activity Center, all of which are a vital part of the National Polka Festival, before the group departs for Fort Worth.

Also accompanying the delegation will be Raymond Snokhous, Honorary Consul General to the Czech Republic for the state of Texas.

Snokhous has been instrumental in securing Schwarzenberg’s appearance at the festival.

“This visit to Texas is an opportunity for him to promote trade and development and to meet with people,” said Snokhous.

“Meeting with the people is critically important to him.”

Danny Zapletal, Director of the National Polka Festival, also played a vital role in making this historic event happen. 

“The National Polka Festival committee is so honored, humbled, and excited to have such prestigious dignitaries to celebrate our Czech heritage with us.”

While the city of Ennis has received a number of dignitaries throughout the years, the polka festival organizers said Schwarzenberg is the most premier Czech official to date to have attended the community’s annual celebration of its Czech culture and heritage. 

For more information on the 45th Annual National Polka Festival, please visit www.nationalpolkafestival.com or call 972-878-4748 or visit Ennis on www.visitennis.org.

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