National Polka Festival
You can take to the dance floor for lots of live polka music with 14 bands, including Brave Combo, during Memorial Day weekend at the 49th annual Czech heritage festival. Activities will be in downtown Ennis and at three participating dance halls. Feel free to wear traditional Czech kroj (costumes) for the opening dance the evening of May 22, with polka music and the King and Queen Dance Contest. On May 23 the fun includes a Polka Fest Run at 7 a.m., as well as a morning parade through downtown Ennis at 10 and a country concert by the Bellamy Brothers in the evening. You'll also find arts and crafts, a street dance, activities for children and more.
Free downtown activities run May 23 from 9a.m. to 5 p.m., May 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the area around 101 N.W. Main St., Ennis. See the website for specific times and locations for music activities (including the opening dance on May 22), which continue into the evenings. One daily ticket (cash only at the door) covers admission to all three participating halls (KJT, KC, and Sokol): $8 on May 22, $12 on May 23, $10 on May 24, with free admission for ages 12 and under. Tickets for the Bellamy Brothers concert on May 23 at 9p.m. (with special guest John Slaughter) are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. 972-878-4748. nationalpolkafestival.com.
Scarborough Renaissance Festival
The annual 16th-century-style Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, which runs through Memorial Day, is about to wrap up its season. The "Final Knights Weekend" features three days of music, merriment and magic with costumed knights, villagers, 21 stages of Renaissance entertainment, jousters, sword fighters, Scottish bagpipers, birds-of-prey exhibitions, a petting zoo and much more. Guest performers the German Brothers will provide entertainment throughout the weekend, and there'll be a veterans' parade and tribute on Memorial Day.
May 23-25 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 2511 FM66, Waxahachie (30 minutes south of Dallas-Fort Worth, off Interstate 35E at Exit 399A). Tickets are available online and at the gate. On-site one-day admission is $25 for adults, $10 for ages 5-12. Online one-day admission is $23 for adults, $10 for ages 5-12. Free for children 4 and under. Parking is free. Discount tickets (one-day admission $22 for adults, $9 for ages 5-12) are available at area Kroger stores. srfestival.com.
Trinity River Paddlefest (CANCELED)
Paddle on the water with free kayak and paddle-board demos at this fest in Fort Worth, hosted by Backwoods Paddlesports.
There'll be half-price kayak, paddle-board and canoe rentals; music by Blackland River Devils; yoga; disc golf; burgers and beer for purchase; and more.
May 25 from noon to 6 p.m. at Panther Island Pavilion, 395 Purcey St., Fort Worth. Free admission. pantherislandpavilion.com.
Margarita Meltdown (SOLD OUT)
Taste more than 20 margaritas competing to be named the best in town. The People's Last Stand, El Ranchito and Boulevardier are among the restaurants and bars participating in this fifth annual competition, presented by Milagro Tequila. The bartender who creates the winning drink will be awarded $1,000.
May 24 from 4 to 9 p.m. $30 per person in advance online, $35 cash at the door, $55 for VIP, $10 for designated drivers. Must be 21 or older to attend.
In the Bishop Arts District, in the area around North Bishop Avenue and West Eighth Street, Dallas. dallasmargaritameltdown.com.
Thai Culture and Food Festival
Dishes representing Thailand's four regional cuisines will be offered, including common ones, such as pad Thai and chicken satay, and some rarities, prepared by more than a dozen local restaurants and vendors.
The festival, presented by the Thai Community Center of North Texas, will also include fruit-carving demonstrations, temple tours, Muay Thai (Thai boxing) demonstrations and traditional arts and performances.
May 23 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., May 24 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free admission. Food prices vary. Buddhist Center of Dallas, 8484 Stults Road, Dallas. thaifestdallas.com.
Compiled by Shannon Sutlief and Dena Hill.