Our readers in Wilber tell us that town officials have spent the past few days preparing for the 2008 National Czech Festival, which will be held this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 1, 2 and 3).
Every year at this time, Wilber swells to more than 50,000 as folks come from miles around to celebrate their own Czech ancestry or to pay tribute to some of the county's early pioneers. The community of 1,700 has been the Czech capital of Nebraska since 1963 and of the United States since 1987. The festival itself began in 1962.
This year, Czech Days kick off Friday at 5 p.m. with activities such as the Accordion Jamboree, Wilber Czech Dancers, and the Children's Parade.
On Saturday morning, the day's events start with the Duck and Dumpling Run at 7 a.m. Throughout the rest of the weekend, you can enjoy activities for all ages such as the Art Show, dance contest, Czech dinners, museum tours, quilt show, Czech heritage demonstrations, and the sounds of various polka bands.
The parade starts at 2 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. The Miss Czech-Slovak U.S.A. Queen Pageant begins at 7 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday at the Outdoor Theatre. The Czech Historical Pageant is held on both Friday and Saturday evenings. Other activities include the polka mass, talent contest, Czech Museum, kolace eating contest, dancing and much more.
For more information and a full listing of this weekend's activities, visit http://www.ci.wilber.ne.us/.