The first Sunday of May marked the annual Lincoln Czech Festival at the PLA-Mor Ball Room in Lincoln, NE. The festival has been held every year since 1966. Many of the traditions established in the early years continue today. Members of Lincoln No. 426 (Lincoln, NE), Nebraska Czechs of Lincoln, and others worked together to put on the event which welcomed over 300 guests this year.
|(L-R) Betty Soukup, Connie Hullinsky, and Donna Aschwege all volunteered to help with the food sale.||YELL! member Mallory Ruhl volunteered at the palacinky booth and won the bike giveaway.|
Highlights included authentic Czech food, vendors, entertainment, raffle, and costumes. The food was sold until it was gone and included many items donated by No. 426. Member Donna Aschwege made over 200 kolache for the food sale. No. 426's YELL! group hosted a freshly-made palacinky booth. YELL! members Mallory Ruhl, Jennifer Hosek, Valerie Hosek, and Zach Hosek manned a griddle and sold filled pancakes to guests. The funds they raised will help fund a YELL! bowling event.
The vendors sold things ranging from a shirt made out of dollar bills to Czech crystal. People brought in items for a raffle table that raised money for the Nebraska Czech Club Queens.
The Nebraska Czechs of Lincoln and many others donned their Czech kroje for the day. A big part of the day was the presentation of the Nebraska Czech Club Queens. Queens from all the area Czech chapters came to participate. The Lincoln Czech Queen was crowned that day.
There is also an accordion jam. Guests were invited to bring their own accordion and jam with others who enjoy it. Following the jam, No. 426 presented its lodge scholarship. This year member Brooke Eisenhauer won the award. Every year, the lodge's scholarship committee selects winners based on essays hopeful candidates write.
The lodge also hosted a bike giveaway during the festival. YELL! member Mallory Ruhl was the lucky winner. The day ends with music provided by the Shriner Polka Band.
“The festival is an opportunity to give the Czech love to others, share heritage, and remember our ancestor's sacrifices in coming to America so that future people could have a better life,” said No. 426 member Velma Kotas.
Special thanks and recognition to No. 426 member Velma Kotas for providing information about the Lincoln Czech Festival used in this article.
Call 877-935-2467 to speak with a Western Fraternal Life Representative.