Wilber Czech Festival

Wilber, NE Hosts Czech Festival

Oct 10, 2017

by Katie Zoubek | Correspondent, No. 389, Western, NE

For 56 years, the Annual National Czech Festival has been held in Wilber, NE, the first weekend of August.

The Annual National Czech Festival is one of the largest ethnic celebrations in America and hosts over 50,000 people each year. Many come to enjoy the authentic meals of roasted duck, pork, sauerkraut, dumplings, and kolache. There is even a kolache-eating contest.

The Czech Festival promotes Czech heritage and culture with music, dancing, costumes, several street vendors, store merchants (selling food, drinks, and items), Czech museum, several Czech activities/demonstrations, and three parades. The main attraction is the Miss Czech-Slovak U.S.A. pageant.

Saline Center No. 389 (Western, NE) YELL! member Olivia Zoubek got the honor to be a little sister to Missouri Czech Queen Emily Manning. She met her Queen on Saturday and had lunch and exchanged a small gift. Olivia then got to ride in a convertible through the parade with Emily on Saturday and Sunday. The two shared the stage for pageant introductions.

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YELL! group at the children's parade. Wilber Junior Czech Dancers.


Olivia is one out of three girls who get to return next year for the festivities. Being a little sister is a one-time-event unless your Queen is crowned Miss Czech-Slovak U.S. Queen, 1st & 2nd runner up, and then you get the honor to return next year with your Queen. There were ten queens this year, and Emily was first runner-up so Olivia got to experience the excitement when her Queen was crowned.

No. 389's YELL! group had 23 kids walk through the Czech Days Children's Parade on Friday night.

No. 389 member Sheryl Kastanek has been the teacher of the Junior Czech Dancers for several years. The age group ranges from 4-12 years old and has over 100 dancers. No. 389 has twenty YELL! members who just dance with the group and five YELL! members who assist Sheryl with the kids. This year, the five YELL! members helped at seven dance practices lasting an hour each, at the three care centers in Crete, Nebraska, and Wilber. For Czech Days, they dance starting on Thursday at the Hotel Wilber, Friday at the Outdoor Theater, and Saturday and Sunday at the downtown bandstand and outdoor theater. The dancers dance four Czech songs at each place. This is a wonderful way for our group members to promote our Czech heritage.

No. 389's YELL! group had 23 kids walk through the Czech Days Children's Parade on Friday night. They had a banner with the lodge name on it and passed out Western Fraternal Life pencils, pennies, and candy. The YELL! youth received 3rd place in the category of groups at the parade.

Join the festivities next year for the 57th Annual Czech Festival on August 3rd through 5th.

Category: Czech Connection

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Call 877-935-2467 to speak with a Western Fraternal Life Representative.