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Despite tornado, festival kicks off in Texas town

Published On: May 25 2013 03:35:20 PM CDT
Texas News - spotlight
ENNIS, Texas -

(AP) - One of the largest Czech festivals in the U.S. is taking place this weekend in a North Texas town still recovering from a tornado.
    
The 47th annual National Polka Festival is expected to bring 50,000 people to Ennis, about 30 miles southeast of Dallas.
    
Officials say the Ennis parade route had to be changed because the downtown area remains closed to traffic. But Chamber of Commerce President Jeannette Patak says the festival held each Memorial Day weekend is a backbone of the city's economy, so canceling wasn't an option.
    
About 60 buildings and several homes were damaged in Ennis from a May 15 tornado with winds up to 90 mph. An outbreak of 16 tornadoes touched down that night in North Texas, including one that left six dead in Granbury.