The largest Czech/Kolache Festival in Northeastern Wisconsin was held at the Agricultural Heritage Farm, Kewaunee, WI, on August 5 and 6. As always, kolache were one of the main attractions, with two shifts of kolache makers for each day. Approximately 12,000 kolache were made and sold during the festival! There were poppyseed, prune, apricot, strawberry rhubarb, raspberry, cherry, and cream cheese/cottage cheese. Kolache making was demonstrated by “Kolache Queen” JoAnn Vogel.
|Kroj-style show of dress and costume.|
There was an authentic kroj-style show of dress and costume from native Czech Republic and Slovakia. It featured costumes of the Czech Choraliers and the Moravian Dancers, as well as the costume dress of the Barushka Dancers, all modeled by men, women, and children.
Czech music was heard throughout the festival by such bands as the recreated Pilzen Brass Band, Newtonburg Brass Band, Mark Jirikovec Czech Band, and also a strolling accordionist, Jerry Voelker. The Czech Choraliers provided singing, and the United Moravian Dancers entertained in their native costumes.
|No. 391 Correspondent Judy Kraynik demonstrated how to decorate Czech Easter eggs.|
Each day started with the sale of kolache. On Saturday, metanky, Czech booyah, poppyseed torte, and Czech beers were available in the pavilion, along with jitrnice on rye, hamburgers, hot dogs, Czech bratwurst, beer, and soda in the Beer Garden, which was open both days. On Sunday morning, there was a heritage Polka mass, officiated by Rev. Bill O’Brien, with music provided by the Orv Konop Band, and Cantor Gail Johanek. Following was a delicious Czech meal consisting of sauerkraut and dumplings, pork roast, vegetable, cole slaw, rye bread, and a kolach of choice.
Historic buildings, built in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, were open to the public. There was an 1876 farm home, blacksmith shop, schoolhouse, and Franklin Town Hall, with displays of town records from the past. Also present were Czech vendors, and a Czech translator, Anna Cookova. Patrick Dewane spoke of his grandfather, Lieutenant Colonel Matt Konop, of Stangelville, who fought in the liberation of Domazlice and Pilzen in Czechoslovakia, in World War II.
The festival was co-chaired by JoAnn Vogel and Orv Konop (member of No. 142, Two Rivers, WI). Next year’s festival is scheduled for August 4 and 5.
Pilsen No. 391 (Luxemburg, WI) participated in this event, along with numerous other volunteers. Members of No. 391 helped in making and selling the kolache for both days, serving the meal, demonstrating the decorating of Czech Easter eggs, singing with the Czech Choraliers, dancing, and having a good time.
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