Thousands expected at annual Czech Fest

Thousands of people are expected to descend on Yukon this weekend to celebrate all things Czech.

The 52nd annual Yukon Czech Fest is set for Saturday, beginning at about 9 a.m. when music will ramp up.

Activities are planned throughout the day, said Oklahoma Czech Inc. President Marjorie Jezek.

Those will be highlighted by the annual parade in downtown at 10 a.m., and the announcement of the 2017-18 royalty at 4 p.m.

In between there will be a carnival, live music, craft and vendor booths and food. Lots of food.

Kolaches in a variety of flavors are the key draw.

Dozens of volunteers have worked for months preparing the sweet kolaches for the event. More than 30,000 pastries have been baked and will be ready to serve.

Flavors include the traditional — poppy seed, prune, apricot and apple — but there are other flavors as well, including cream cheese, peach, pineapple, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, cottage cheese, cherry and lemon.

They will be available both by the dozen and individually.

Jezek said to hurry, though. The dozens usually sell out before noon and the individual pastries are sold out by 2 p.m.

“When people come from out of state or out of town, that’s what they are coming here for … our kolaches,” Jezek said.

At noon, officials, including Yukon Mayor Mike McEarchen and Jezek, will welcome visitors and then introduce the 2016-17 royalty.

Music will be provided throughout the day by The Bohemian Knights and the Masopust Polka Band.

In addition, a demonstration of traditional Bohemian, Moravian and Silesian Folk dancing is planned.

“There will be Czech activities all afternoon,” she said.

The carnival actually begins on Friday and will continue through Saturday evening.

A car show is planned and the farm equipment museum also will be open.

Officials say they expect 50,000 people for the event.

Seeing the people, Jazek said, is the highlight of the event.

“Some people you only see once a year. A lot of people come just to meet each other … like a mini reunion each year,” she said.

The festival will wrap up with the coronation ball, which will be held at the Yukon Czech Hall beginning at 5:30 p.m.

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