Celebrating the 4th of July with the Royal Court

The Czech Royal Court participated in the July 2 Freedom Festival Parade, where the Czech Heritage Foundation float won an award, and in the Belle Plaine parade on July 4, where Bonnie (Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Pageant Co-Director) and Marvin Rohlena’s red wagon was well-received. Our thanks to float-maker Tim Pfeifer for another great entry at the Freedom Festival!  (photos/Cindy Hadish)

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Czech Heritage Foundation announces new Royal Court

The 2016-2017 Czech Heritage Foundation Royal Court.

Article and photos by Cindy Hadish

The Czech Heritage Foundation’s Royal Court continues to grow, with new members and positions announced during Houby Days, including a new Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa.

Linda Babinat, the daughter of Leo and Lisa Babinat of Clutier, was named the 2016-2017 Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa, following a pageant at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. Runner-up was Lindsay Hottovy, the daughter of Thomas and Susan Hottovy of Adams, Neb. Both Linda and Lindsay attend Loras College in Dubuque.

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Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa 2016-2017, Linda Babinat.

Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Runner-Up, Lindsay Hottovy.

Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Runner-Up, Lindsay Hottovy.

Two Czech princes and two Czech princesses also were named for the coming year. Branden Knight, the son of Tom and Karen Knight of Hiawatha, and Drake Ainsworth, the son of Mike Ainesworth and Heidi Hromidko of Cedar Rapids, will share the duties of Czech Prince. The Czech princesses will be Rachael Brandon, the daughter of Jeremy and Jennifer Wills and Jason and Andrea Brandon of Cedar Rapids and Victoria Knight, the daughter of Tom and Karen Knight of Hiawatha.

Ingrid and Lars Landa, the daughter and son of Craig and Christine Landa of Toddville, are returning to the Royal Court as Czech Little Sister and Czech Little Brother. Joining them will be MyAh Morgan, the daughter of J.C. and Tiffany Morgan of Cedar Rapids, and FayLyn Franks, the daughter of Taylor Dillon and Daren Franks of Hiawatha, as Czech Little Sisters, and Davis Robe, the son of John and Holly Robe of Cedar Rapids, as Czech Little Brother.

In a new role, two out-of-state brothers will serve as Czech Royal Court attendants. Frank and Jonathan Kime, sons of Matthew and Jarmila Kime of Missouri, have grown up in both the Czech Republic and the United States. They were represented at the crowning ceremony in Czech Village by their grandparents, Jon and Donna Kime, and great-grandmother, Noreen Kime, all of Cedar Rapids.

The 2016-2017 Czech Heritage Foundation Royal Court.

The 2015-2016 Czech Heritage Foundation Royal Court

Ashley Pudil, the daughter of Kevin and Denise Pudil of Cedar Rapids, is finishing her reign as 2015-2016 Miss Czech Slovak-Iowa and will represent the state of Iowa during the national pageant in Wilber, Neb., in August. This year marked the 15th anniversary of the queen pageant in Iowa, with several past queens attending Houby Days activities and the pageant banquet, along with out-of-state Czech queens and the reigning Miss Czech-Slovak U.S. Meagan Kurmel of Nebraska.

Young women ages 18-25 compete for the Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa title, with competition in interviews, modeling Czech costumes, called kroje, and talent categories. Boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 18 compete for the title of Czech Prince or Princess by researching their Czech heritage, writing an essay and being interviewed by a panel of judges. Little Sisters and Little Brothers are between the ages of 6 and 12. All applicants must be of Czech or Slovak descent.

Visiting Queens at the Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa pageant.

Visiting Queens with Iowa Queen Ashley Pudil at the Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa pageant.

Members of the Czech Royal Court serve as young ambassadors by representing the Czech community in parades, festivals and other events throughout the year.

The 2015-2016 Czech Heritage Foundation Royal Court.

The 2015-2016 Czech Heritage Foundation Royal Court, along with past Iowa queens and visiting queens

You are Invited to Celebrate 15 years! 2016 Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Pageant

A-26Pageant Queen & Runner Up

The Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Pageant invites you to join us on May 21, 2016 beginning at 10:00 AM for the Houby Days Parade with queens and more queens, as we celebrate our milestone year. The pageant’s judged events will take place in the Grand Hall of the National Czech-Slovak Museum & Library.
1:30 PM – Kroj Modeling – Open to the public
1:45 PM – Oratory – Open to the public
2:15 PM – Talent – Open to the public

The evening event is open to the public with purchase of a ticket.  It will be held at the Avacentre beginning at 5:00 PM with a social and music hour followed by a dinner/banquet at 6:00 PM. Following a bountiful Czech dinner, Marit Lee Kucera, Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic will give us insight to her position. The audience will meet out-of-state queens, dignitaries, and Czech Royalty, followed by a Parade of Kroje. The past queens will update the guests on life after being a Czech queen. The culmination of the evening will be the coronation of Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa 2016-2017.

Please note ADVANCE RESERVATIONS REQUIRED for the Dinner/Banquet!
Tickets: $20.00 – Call 319-329-2534 for Reservations

Czech Royal Court Crowning Ceremony


New members of the Czech Royal Court will be crowned in a ceremony during Houby Days 2016 in Czech Village.

The event begins at 11am Sunday, May 22, at the Kosek Bandstand along 16th Avenue SW in Cedar Rapids.

Members of the Royal Court, sponsored by the Czech Heritage Foundation, include the Czech Prince, Czech Princess, Little Brother, and Little Sister.  Members of the Royal Court will participate in parades, festivals and other events during the coming year.

The crowning ceremony is free and the public is invited to attend.