Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Czech Out Wilber This Weekend


The first weekend of August is nearly 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 since John Kennedy was president.

This year's theme for the festival: "Czechs Past, Present and Future." (Of course, like any ethnic celebration, we're all at least part Czech during Czech Days.)

Readers in Wilber tell us town officials have spent months preparing for the 2016 National Czech Festival (Thurs., Aug. 4 through Sunday, Aug. 7).

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.  

See the 2016 Czech Days schedule here.

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.  

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

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