Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Czech Days Are Here

The first full weekend of August is almost here and area folks, young and old, will be headed to the annual Wilber Czech Days Festival, one of Saline County's most noted and celebrated annual events. 

This year's theme for the festival: "Education -- a Czech Value."

Our readers in Wilber tell us town officials have spent months preparing for the 2013 National Czech Festival (July 31-Aug. 3).

Every year at this time, the population of Wilber swells to as many as 50,000 as folks traverse from miles around to celebrate their own Czech ancestry or just to pay tribute to some of the county's early pioneers and traditions. 

The community of approximately 1,700 has been the official Czech capital of Nebraska since 1963 -- and of the United States since 1987. The festival itself began in 1962.

This year, Czech Days activities will include a free dance at Hotel Wilber, Czech bingo, the accordion jamboree, a sand volleyball tournament, a children's parade, an art show, dance contest, Czech dinners, museum tours, quilt show, Czech heritage demonstrations, and the sounds of various polka bands.

The official Czech Days' 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 theater.  For more information and a full listing of the Czech Days' activities, click here.

A note to all of you who are driving to the event: The Nebraska State Patrol in conjunction with local law enforcement will conduct special enforcement efforts in and around Saline County this weekend. A grant from the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety will help pay for overtime hours used by troopers and communication specialists.

If you go, have fun and be safe.  And if you don't speak Czech, just tell them: Ahoj kámo! (Hello, friend!)


  1. Truly one of the highlights of summer in Nebraska.

  2. It's ain't Praha but close enough.

  3. won't the mexicans get mad about this ............................ maybe obama can invite us all over to talk over a beer .......................

  4. No, we Czech-Mex will not be mad because we will be drinking pivo and extending an invitation to President Obama.


  5. Ha! I doubt you'll see Mr. Obama in Nebraska anytime before 2012, if ever.

  6. As a first generation Bohunk, my hat is off to Wilber for keeping the Czech heritage alive. Thank you.

  7. I am surprised the Times would publish the "B" word that is sometimes used to describe a Czech individual. When I was a child during the 1960's and 1970's, my mother reprimanded me for using such a word.....especially in front of my Czech grandmother. She explained to me that it was not considered a term of endearment and other ethnic groups had taunted my grandmother by calling her that name. I finally stopped when it made my grandmother cry.

  8. Czech Days brings back lots of fond memories. I was eight months old when the festival made its debut in 1962. My grandmother lived next door to the Lutheran Church which served Czech meals. However, like so many others in Wilber, the church underestimated the attendance. According to my mother, the Lutheran women came to my grandmother’s house at 3 a.m. (!) to bake ducks because they ran out of oven space. (And there was no air conditioning!)

  9. the guy commenting two spots above needs thicker skin ............................... you should hear what I call my wife .............................................. see you all at czech days ....................... i'll be flying my german flag high ..........................

  10. I believe Ohoyo Prachar is a woman. As for the use of the “B” word, it is true that the older generation was especially sensitive to such a term because they were usually first or second generation Czechs. Many of them still had ties to the “old country.” In addition, the term was often followed by the phrase, “you are a gypsy.”

  11. You should all just go get a beer at the White House or a dozen vodka shots a Czech Days.

    Life isn't fair. You are old enough to know that by now.

  12. bo·hunk
    n. Offensive Slang
    Used as a disparaging term for a person from east-central Europe, especially a laborer.

  13. Maybe the "B" word critic should apply for the job of "official censor" for the Dorcheste Times. Lighten up! Sheesh!!

  14. I think illegal immigration is highly offensive.

    When will the illegals be removed?

  15. bo*hunk

    n. What happened when one of the Duke boys took off their shirts.

  16. Hello. My name is Patrick L. Vyhnalek and I am a bohunk. Now...who's with me?! Hi-O!!!!

  17. @Patrick-If your grandmother had asked you not to use that term, would you have honored her request?

  18. My grandfather was a carpenter and we were from Bohemia and said we are bohunks.

  19. Most of my ancestors came here from Bohemia, and Moravia. It was then part of the Austrian/Hungarian Empire. They did not consider themselves Austrian's, but when asked by the census takers where they came from, they told him, BOHEMIA! When asked what language their parents spoke, they answered "bohemian".

    I will remind the readers, that Czechoslovakia did not become an independent country, until after World War I. My maternal grandmother would try to correct me when I said I was Bohemian, in reference to our ancestry, and I would ask her what her dad, or grandpa would have said. Grandpa would sometimes chime in and say, "bohemian," then laugh. I never heard him say he was Czech.

    Technically, the language of our ancestors, was Cechy, (chehee) which is where the modern term Czech comes from. I think the negative about the "Bohemian" thing came about in the high society, to describe a gypsie like life. Obviously, most Bohemian's were hard working, independent, grounded people. I think a great deal of the "Czech" label is to destinguish us from the old Hapsburg Empire that enslaved our ancestors for so long.

    Pat V. I am with you! I am not ashamed of my Bohemian ancestry! Our ancestors defied the powers that be, from 1415-1445, and the independent republic they proclaimed, was BOHEMIA! Cherish the memory of our Taborite/Hussite ancestors who died on the plains south of Praha fighting for religious freedom, and an independent Bohemia!Long live the memory of Jan Huss, and the great General Jan Zizka!

    JR Wolfe (Vlcek)
    York, Nebraska

  20. @JR-You missed the point. My grandmother found the term "bohunk" derogatory, not the word Bohemian.

    She was born in 1906. In those days, the term was similar to the "N" word.

  21. Anonymous is absolutely correct about the use of "Bohunk" and it shows great ignorance to anyone who is of Bohemian decent (as I am) who defends its use.

    It is in fact a derogatory slur. Here are several definitions:

    "A nasty term of derision for Eastern European Caucasians. Sort of Like Nigger is to African Americans or Canadians" (Urban dictionary)

    Here is another; Used as a disparaging term for a person from east-central Europe, especially a laborer (thefreedictionary.com)

    Yet another; Etymology: Bohemian + Hunk person of central European descent, by shortening & alteration from Hungarian. Date: circa 1903 usually disparaging : a person of central European descent or birth. (Merriam - Webster)

    I could go on and on with definitions showing that this is a negative slur.

    Its use reminds me of how many African American youths have been brainwashed/desensitized into thinking the use of "nigger" is no longer derogatory and actually use it to describe themselves.

    I guess many of us Bohemians (and I'm proud of my Bohemian ancestory)have been similarly brainwashed/desensitized with the term "Bohunk"


  22. Point taken! But sometimes I think we get a little over sensitive about these things.


  23. Hey, dumb dumb dweller, not everyone around here is czech or a drunk. Not all of us care about your stuppid little party in wilber. Quit wasting the space on the internet and go away.

    1. Don't care about your stupid little post either.

      "...the space on the internet?" There is, in fact, infinite space. DUH!

  24. I'm drinking a Pilsner and thinking of you festival goers. Stay cool!

  25. The "B" word or the "N" is only received as being derogatory is you have no personal self-esteem. I'm a first generation BOHUNK and I'm proud of it.

    Since we're complaining about mere words, is 'illegals' slang for Mexicans? Just wondering....

    Come on, people! Grow up! This 'politically correct' crap gets old.


    David the BOHUNK.

  26. Put simply: Best darn time in southeastern Nebraska!

  27. To Elegant Bohunk:

    I would argue that Czech Days is the best darn time anywhere .. but I'm bias.

    -Wilber Czech (age 69)

  28. Best exchange in a long time....thanks...truly entertained and educated


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