Cedar Rapids float-maker continues award-winning tradition

Tim Pfeifer is carrying on the legacy of his father.st joe tim

The Czech Heritage Foundation float decorated by Pfeifer won the Jerry Harrington award at this year’s SAPADAPASO Parade on St. Patrick’s Day in Cedar Rapids. The traveling trophy is given to the “Most Wholesome/Heartfelt” private entry in the parade.

irish floatThis year’s float included scenery with geese – a nod to Czech farming heritage – with an Irish flair in green. The float was reworked in red for the St. Joseph’s Parade just days later in Czech Village and New Bohemia.

Pfeifer assumed the float-making duties from his late father, Leonard Pfeifer, a past president of the Czech Heritage Foundation, who became the organization’s award-winning float-maker in 1989.

st joe floatLeonard Pfeifer died in 2011, just before his final float was entered in the Holiday Parade in Cedar Rapids.

The Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival has named the Leonard Pfeifer Award for Best Original Float in his honor.

St. Joseph’s Day Dance

Join the Czech Heritage Foundation for dancing, dinner, and prizes at the annual St. Joseph’s Day Dance!  Proceeds support our scholarship and royalty programs, and Czech royalty will be on hand!  Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at Sykora Bakery in Czech Village, from any Czech Heritage board member, or at the door.



St. Joseph’s Day Parade

Put on some red and celebrate St. Joseph’s Day Parade in the Czech Village on March 21!  Be sure to wave to our Czech royalty, who will be in the parade at 1:00pm.

Czech Prince, Princess, and Mladší Princ represent Czech Heritage Foundation

A new tradition began during Houby Days 2014 in Cedar Rapids, with the crowning of the new Czech royal court. Typically, members are inducted during the winter, but the new timing and venue offered a more public setting during Children’s Day on May 18, 2014, at the festival in Czech Village.czech chelsea

Candidates wrote an essay and were interviewed by a panel that included Denver Dvorsky, board member of the Cedar Rapids Czech Heritage Foundation, and Pam Lewis, president of the Czech Village Association.

Dvorsky, who also served as announcer for the ceremony, noted that the program – sponsored by the Cedar Rapids Czech Heritage Foundation – dates back to 1981. ”The Czech prince and princess serve as young ambassadors for the Cedar Rapids Czech community and appear in parades, ceremonies and other special events,” he said. ”We are grateful for the time and effort they dedicate to these positions.”czech memorial day

Ashley Pudil, a senior at Xavier High School, was named Czech Princess, with Sam Uthoff, a sophomore at Prairie High School, selected as Czech Prince. Branden Knight, a seventh-grader at Harding Middle School, was named Mladší Princ, which translates to ”younger prince.”czech freedom fest

Ashley is the daughter of Kevin and Denise Pudil of Cedar Rapids. Sam is the son of Ann and Vince Uthoff of Solon and Branden is the son of Tom and Karen Knight of Hiawatha.

All have since been serving as members of the Czech royal court, along with reigning Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa, Janna Waters, and Little Sister Iowa, Victoria Knight.czech peter sis

This summer, they participated in the Memorial Day ceremony and made appearances at the Freedom Festival parade in Cedar Rapids; the Belle Plaine parade on the Fourth of July; the Sesquicentennial Parade in Chelsea, and the Czech School final program.

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They also have participated in several events at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library and in Czech Village, including as judges at Czechtoberfest and at the museum’s 40th anniversary celebration and the opening of the exhibit by artist Peter Sís.

Kelsey Pokorny and Brennan Bell served as Czech princess and prince during the previous year and appeared in numerous events, including the St. Joseph’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Freedom Festival parades; St. Joseph’s Day Celebration; Memorial Day ceremony for the Czech National Cemetery; Cedar Rapids Czech School program; events at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library; the Fairy Tale Festival at Ushers Ferry Historic Village and Cultural Diversity Festival in Iowa City.

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