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Texas Town Holds First Westfest Since Blast

Fertilizer Plant Explosion In West, Texas
West Texas candlelight vigil in wake of deadly explosion
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

WEST, Texas (AP) — A weekend of sausage, sauerkraut and its famous kolaches is underway in West as the Central Texas town holds its signature celebration of its Czech heritage.

It’s the first Westfest since a deadly fertilizer plant explosion tore through the small community.

The gates opened late Friday afternoon to the annual festival, which runs through Sunday with only a few reminders of the tragedy.

Brian Muska (MOOSH’-ka), a West City Council member, says the town has — in his words — “had our memorials.” He says the town wants Westfest “to be Westfest,” to “celebrate what West is about.”

Besides appearances by state politicians and a moment of silence for those 15 killed by the April 17th explosion, organizers hope to stick to Westfest traditions that are decades-old.

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