Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa applications are due January 31, 2019. In this cultural competition, women aged 16-25 compete for the title of Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa at the annual Houby Days Festival in May. The competition includes a public and private interview with each contestant, a talent competition, and a kroj modeling competition. The winner of this pageant goes on to represent the state of Iowa in the National Miss Czech-Slovak Pageant held in Wilber, NE.For more information about the pageant, click here.
Members of the Czech Royal Court have spread the word about their heritage at numerous appearances this year. The new Royal Court, sponsored by the Czech Heritage Foundation, was crowned in May during Houby Days in Czech Village. Members include: Czech Little Sisters and Little Brothers Ingrid and Lars Landa, son and daughter of Craig and Christine Landa; Danika Robe, daughter of John and Holly Robe; Alexander Sherman, son of Peter and Radka Sherman; Myah Morgan, daughter of J.C. Morgan and Tiffany Morgan; Natalie Hopkins, daughter of Emily Zimmerman and Seth Hopkins, and Mikahla Powers, the daughter of Crystal and Justin Powers.Davis Robe, son of John and Holly Robe, was named Czech Prince, and Isabel Sherman, daughter of Peter and Radka Sherman, was named Czech Princess. Allyanna Pokorny, daughter of Michael and Angel Pokorny, and Grace Sherman, daughter of Peter and Radka Sherman, were both named Mladší Princezna, meaning younger princess. The court has already made appearances at the Czech National Cemetery’s Memorial Day Service, the St. Ludmila’s Church Kolach Festival, at Czech School, where they talked about their kroje – folk costumes – and at the Freedom Festival Parade through New Bohemia and Czech Village.Members of last year’s Czech Royal Court who “graduated” during the Houby Days ceremony included Czech Prince and Princess Branden and Victoria Knight, the son and daughter of Tom and Karen Knight; Czech Prince Drake Hromidko, the son of Heidi Hromidko and Mike Ainesworth; Czech Princess Rachael Brandon, the daughter of Jeremy and Jennifer Wills and Jason and Andrea Brandon and Mladší Princ or “younger prince” Jonathan Carrick, the son of Laurie and David Carrick.Their appearances this spring included the Sokol Šibřinky, a Mardi Gras-style costume ball at St. Wenceslaus that featured the Czech Plus Band; the Czech School Chili Supper at St. Ludmila’s, an annual fundraiser for the Cedar Rapids Czech School; the St. Joseph’s Day Dance – Czech Heritage Foundation’s signature fundraiser at the Ponderosa Ballroom in Walford – and the Houby Days Parade.Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Saddah Hadish, along with Czech Princess Victoria Knight and Mladší Princ Jonathan Carrick, were interviewed during the KZIA morning show on Z102.9 to discuss Czech traditions. (Hear the full interview at www.CzechHeritageFoundation.com) Czech Princess Rachael Brandon represented the Czech culture during a Diversity Night in Tama that also featured native Meskwaki and Hispanic cultures. Thanks go to Sykora Bakery for donating kolaches for both of those events, with food serving as another way to bring diverse cultures together.Saddah Hadish, along with Czech Little Sister Natalie Hopkins, met the public and dignitaries, including Czech Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček, at the opening reception for the “Guts & Glory” exhibit at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. Additionally, Jonathan Carrick spoke at the opening reception in his role as a student of Metro High School STEAM Academy, which designed, built and installed the replica train cars that are part of the exhibit.Czech Princes and Princesses are ages 12 to 16, while Czech Little Brothers and Little Sisters are ages 6 to 12. More information and applications for the 2019 Czech Royal Court can be found at: www.CzechHeritageFoundation.com.
Members of the Czech Royal Court will be seen throughout the Houby Days celebration in Czech Village. The festival begins Friday, May 18, with the Taste of Czech at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, and ends Sunday, May 20.Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Saddah Hadish, younger members of the Czech Royal Court and visiting Czech queens will participate in the Houby Days Parade, sponsored by the Czech Heritage Foundation. The parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 19, in New Bohemia and crosses the bridge into Czech Village.The Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Houby Days Celebration will be 1:30 to 3 p.m. that same day inside the museum and will feature kroje modeling and talent performances. Visiting queens will be introduced, along with special guests Colleen Kurmel, a board member and kroje expert with the Omaha Czech-Slovak Museum and Education Center, and mother of Meagan Kurmel-Gibbs, Miss Czech-Slovak U.S. 2015-2016; Steve Ourecky, of Wilber, Nebraska, editor of the Czech Slavnosti newspaper, officer of the Nebraska Czechs Inc. and member of the Kansas Czechs; and Miss Czech-Slovak US 2017-2018 Madeline Hecker of Prague, Oklahoma.Music will be provided by the Czech Plus Band and a reception will follow. All are invited to attend.The new Czech Royal Court will be crowned at noon on Sunday, May 20, at the Kosek Bandstand. The event will move inside the museum in case of rain. The public is invited to attend.Czech Princes and Princesses are ages 12 to 16, while Czech Little Brothers and Little Sisters are ages 6 to 12.The current Royal Court includes Little Brothers and Little Sisters 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; Myah Morgan, the daughter of J.C. Morgan 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 Branden and Victoria Knight, the son and daughter of Tom and Karen Knight; Drake Hromidko, 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, daughter of Peter and Radka Sherman, is Mladší Princezna, meaning “younger princess” and Jonathan Carrick, son of Laurie and David Carrick, is Mladší Princ, or “younger prince.”Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Saddah Hadish is the daughter of Steve and Mari Hadish of Cedar Rapids.Members of the Czech Royal Court serve as young ambassadors for the Czech Heritage Foundation in festivals and other events throughout the year. Applications for the 2019 Czech Royal Court can be found on this website.
Members of the Czech Heritage Foundation's Czech Royal Court were recently interviewed on Z102.9's morning show in Cedar Rapids. During the interview, royalty told listeners a little about their experiences in the program and their love for sharing Czech heritage with others.Listen to the whole radio interview below! Thank you to Z102.9 for featuring our Czech Royal Court, and for helping Czech Heritage Foundation promote local Czech events. Video from the interview is also available on Facebook.
Holiday traditions came to life in Czech Village in December, with a Svatý Mikuláš celebration and the Old World Christmas Market. Both are patterned after festivities in the Czech Republic.The eve of Svatý Mikuláš, known as St. Nicholas in the United States, typically takes place on Dec. 5 in places that observe the Czech tradition. Costumed performers dressed as Svatý Mikuláš, along with an anděl, the Czech word for angel, and čert, a devil, walk the streets to hand out candy to children who have been good ora raw potato or piece of coal for those on the naughty list.Members of the Cedar Rapids Czech School Board explained how the holidays arecelebrated in the Czech Republic and taught the audience how to count down from 10 to 1 in Czech, for the lighting of the Czech Village Christmas tree, and how to say Veselé Vánoce – Merry Christmas – in Czech.The Czech Heritage Singers also entertained the audience, while cookies – another Czech holiday tradition – were given to attendees.Svatý Mikuláš, the anděl, and čert, and members of the Czech Heritage Foundation Czech Royal Court, led a candlelight procession to the Kosek Bandstand, for the lighting of the Christmas tree.That same weekend, the Old World Christmas Market attracted shoppers to the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library.The market, featuring live music and family activities, along with vendors who sell specialty imports and handmade gifts, is a nod to the Prague Christmas markets, held at the Old Town Square and Wenceslaus Square in the Czech Republic.