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West Celebrates Culture & Recovery At Westfest

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Susy Solis
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WEST (CBSDFW.COM) – The 38th Annual Westfest kicked off this Saturday in West, and organizers are expecting the biggest crowd in the festival’s history.

It’s the first Labor Day since the explosion rocked the small central Texas community in April, killing 14 and destroying much of the city.

“The people of West got knocked down, but they go right back up,” said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who was on hand to kick off the event.

The event celebrates Czech culture and includes polka dancing, carnival rides, kolaches and a colorful Westfest Parade that winds through the downtown streets.

“Truly it is an honor,” said resident Danny Norton. “When people look at the dancers nowadays, they think ‘West is not broken.'”

U.S. Senator John Cornyn was also on hand to celebrate the occasion. “I think what Westfest represents is their effort to try to get their life back to normal again.”

All proceeds from the event will be distributed to local charities and go back into the still recovering community.

Mike Kocian, whose house is being rebuilt after being torn up in the explosion, says the event makes him “proud to be an American.”

The event continues on Sunday and ends at midnight.

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