Ennis, Texas is famous for the bluebonnets that blanket the hills around the town every spring, drawing about 50,000 visitors each year to an annual festival during the third weekend of April. The Ennis Garden Club has laid out 42 miles of trails that the Texas Legislature named “The Official Bluebonnet Trail of Texas.” The club provides free maps of trails through fertile farmlands and rolling hills where bluebonnets cover miles of grasslands. The club members provide information on the best areas for viewing the bluebonnets and other wildflowers. The bluebonnet was named for its striking resemblance to the sunbonnets of pioneer women.
Bluebonnets are not the only source of pride in Ennis, which celebrates its Czech heritage each Memorial Day with the National Polka Festival. It is the state flower of Texas for which Ennis is best known. The sweet-smelling blooms were beloved by the American Indians long before the Czech settlers arrived. A Comanche legend about the origin of the bluebonnets tells of the tribe’s struggle with starvation, cold, and disease. The Great Spirit told the chieftains that their most valued and cherished possessions should be burned and scattered to the four winds as an offering. A little American Indian princess overheard the council and sacrificed her beautiful doll with a headdress from a blue jay. The next morning, where the ashes had fallen, there was a beautiful spread of blue flowers the same shade as the blue jay’s feather. Regardless of how the flowers came to Texas, the bonnet-shaped blooms are a state treasure, especially in Ennis.
To see how Village Prints artist, Melanie Gentle, has preserved the historical heritage of Ennis, click on the Ennis, TX page. These prints make excellent gifts for all occasions–Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, etc.