New Czech Royal Court announced

By Cindy Hadish

Families are making their mark on the Czech Heritage Foundation’s new Czech Royal Court. Three brother-sister duos, and one family trio, were among the members announced during Houby Days in Czech Village.

A new Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa also was named after the state pageant at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, which included modeling kroje (ethnic Czech costumes,) a talent competition and private and on-stage interviews.  Saddah Hadish of Cedar Rapids, the daughter of Steve and Mari Hadish, was crowned queen for 2017-2018.

Miss Czech-Slovak U.S. First Runnerup, Anna O’Renick; Steve Ourecky, editor of Czech Slavnosti, and Miss Czech-Slovak U.S. Michaela Steager, judge the Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa pageant at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. (photo/Cindy Hadish)


Saddah Hadish models a kroj during the Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa pageant. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Members of the Czech Royal Court serve as young ambassadors for the Czech Heritage Foundation in festivals and other events throughout the year, with their award-winning floats well-recognized in area parades.

Two years ago, a new title of Little Brother was added to the Czech Royal Court, opening up the program to boys ages 6-12, in addition to Little Sisters of the same age. That underlies the driving force behind this year’s influx of families.

Little Brothers and Little Sisters for the coming year are: Lars and Ingrid Landa, son and daughter of Craig and Christine Landa; Davis and Danika Robe, son and daughter of John and Holly Robe; Alexander and Grace Sherman, son and daughter of Peter and Radka Sherman; as well as Myah Morgan, the daughter of J.C. and Tiffany Morgan; Allyanna Pokorny, daughter of Michael and Angel Pokorny; and Natalie Hopkins, daughter of Emily Zimmerman and Seth Hopkins.

Czech Princes and Princesses are between the ages of 12 and 18. Branden and Victoria Knight, the son and daughter of Tom and Karen Knight, will serve as Czech Prince and Princess, along with Drake Hromidko Ainesworth, the son of Heidi Hromidko and Mike Ainesworth; and Rachael Brandon, the daughter of Jeremy and Jennifer Wills and Jason and Andrea Brandon. Isabel Sherman, whose brother and sister also joined the Czech Royal Court, will be Mladší Princezna, meaning “younger princess” and Jonathan Carrick, son of Laurie and David Carrick, will serve this year as Mladší Princ, meaning “younger prince.”

The new Czech Royal Court is shown after the crowning ceremony. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The next event for the Czech Royal Court will be the Czech National Cemetery’s Memorial Day Service at 11:30 a.m. Monday, May 29, at the St. Wenceslaus Church gym, 1230 Fifth St. SE.

Houby Days Parade Entry Form

Registration for the annual Cedar Rapids Houby Days parade is open!  This year’s parade will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 10:00 am.  The parade will travel along 16th Avenue in Czech Village.

Participants are asked to complete a registration form.  Registration forms can be submitted via mail or e-mail.  Any required registration fees should be paid using a check made out to “Straight Arrow” and should be submitted via mail.
Straight Arrow
P.O. Box 13
Cedar Rapids, IA 52406

Czech Royal Court looks ahead after busy season

By Cindy Hadish

The Czech Royal Court is finishing an active spring, with one more parade before the crowning ceremony for new members during Houby Days.

Crowning of the Czech Prince and Princess and Little Brother and Little Sister will take place at noon Sunday, May 21, at the Kosek Bandstand in Czech Village. The public is encouraged to attend and support all of the candidates, who were interviewed by a panel of judges in March.

Members of the Royal Court also will participate in the Houby Days Parade, set to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 20.

Float maker Tim Pfeifer and his family had the float decked out for both the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Cedar Rapids, featuring a Czech lion and leprechaun, and the St. Joseph’s Parade on March 18 through New Bohemia and Czech Village.

Czech Heritage Foundation float maker Tim Pfeifer. Photo/Cindy Hadish

Members of the Czech Royal Court at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Cedar Rapids on Friday, March 17, 2017. Photo/Cindy Hadish

Members of the Czech Royal Court on the CHF float in Czech Village, Cedar Rapids on Saturday, March 18, 2017 during the St. Joseph’s Day Parade. Photo/Cindy Hadish

Other recent events included the Sokol Šibřinky – a Czech-style Mardi Gras celebration – the Czech School Chili Supper and the Czech Heritage Foundation’s St. Joseph’s Day Dance.

Additionally, Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Linda Babinat, Czech Prince Drake Hromidko Ainesworth and Czech Princess Rachael Brandon were interviewed on Z102.9’s Schulte and Swan Morning Show to discuss the March events. Thank you to Sykora Bakery for donating kolaches that were given to the radio crew.

Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Linda Babinat, Czech Prince Drake Hromidko Ainesworth, and Czech Princess Rachael Brandon with Z102.9’s Scott Schulte and Ric Swan. Photo/Cindy Hadish

Thanks also go to Donna Gruntorad, Bonnie Rohlena, Jim Gruntorad and Janna Waters for serving as judges for the incoming Royal Court.

In addition to Linda, Drake and Rachael, members of the current Royal Court are Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Runner-up Lindsay Hottovy; Czech Prince Branden Knight; Czech Princess Victoria Knight; Little Brothers Lars Landa and Davis Robe; Little Sisters Ingrid Landa, Myah Morgan and FayLyn Franks and honorary court attendants, Frank and Jonathan Kime.

Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Runner-up Lindsay Hottovy enjoys a polka during the annual Czech Heritage Foundation St. Joseph’s Day Dance on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Photo/Cindy Hadish

St. Joseph’s Day Dance

 The Czech Heritage Foundation’s annual St. Joseph’s Day Dance is a fundraiser to support the Czech Heritage youth programs.

This year’s dance will feature Barefoot Becky & the Ivanhoe Dutchmen and food from Connie’s Catering

Sunday, March 19, 2017
Tickets available at the door
$10.00 per person

Ponderosa Ballroom
195 1st Street S.
Walford, IA

  • Door prizes
  • Silent auction
  • Bake sale
  • Raffle prizes

Change underway for Czech Royal Court as application period opens

By Cindy Hadish


Royalty at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library’s Old World Christmas Market, 2016. Photo/Cindy Hadish.

Applications for the Czech Heritage Foundation’s Royal Court are being accepted now through March 1, and new guidelines for the program will open the door for more participants.

The Czech Heritage Foundation board approved expanding the criteria for new members at its November meeting. The change will allow aspiring prince, princess, little brother and little sister candidates to apply for the Royal Court if they are active members of a Czech organization, regardless of whether or not they can prove they have Czech ancestry.

Adding the Czech organizations opens up the pool of candidates to Czech School students, members of Sokol or others who demonstrate an understanding and appreciation for Czech culture, but are not of Czech descent.

Guidelines now state that prince and princess applicants must be 12 through 18 years of age, reside in Iowa and be able to attend events in the Cedar Rapids area. They must either be at least partially of Czech descent or be active participants in Czech organizations.

The same rules apply to little brother and little sister applicants, who range in age from 6 to 12.

All candidates need to detail their involvement and why they appreciate Czech heritage in their application. Boys and girls compete for the title of Czech Prince or Princess by researching Czech customs and culture, writing an essay and being interviewed by a panel of judges. The winners serve as young ambassadors for the Czech Heritage Foundation in parades, festivals and other events throughout the year, along with their younger counterparts and Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa.


The royal court at Czech Village Association’s annual Svatý Mikuláš Celebration, 2016. Photo/Cindy Hadish.

This year’s Czech Royal Court has been busy with activities in Czech Village and at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. They participated in the Svatý Mikuláš celebration at the Artisan’s Sanctuary and Czech Village Association’s tree-lighting ceremony. Members also sold raffle tickets for wreaths at the Old World Christmas Market at the museum and were invited to greet guests at the Three Nuts for Cinderella movie, also at the museum.

Applications for next year’s Royal Court are due March 1. Crowning will be during Houby Days in May. Find more details at For questions, send an email to: