Established when the railroad reached the area in 1872, the town was named for Cornelius Ennis, director of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad. Today, it is a small city southeast of the DFW metroplex that offers historical tours, antique shopping, lakes, parks, and a drive-in theater. As one of the first "Rural Tourism Certified" communities, Ennis has preserved many buildings in its historic downtown area, some of which are 110 years old or older.
The Texas Legislature named the city the "Official Bluebonnet City of Texas" in 1997. Each April, the Ennis Garden Club sponsors the Bluebonnet Trails, one of the oldest wildflower events in Texas, featuring 40 miles of well-marked trails.
The National Polka Festival, which celebrates Ennis' Czech heritage, is held on Memorial Day weekend.
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