Yukon festival celebrates Czech heritage

Despite heavy rain and strong winds that damaged a handful of tents overnight Friday, Yukon’s 52nd annual Czech Fest was a success, officials said Saturday afternoon.

Thousands of people lined Yukon’s historic Main Street to witness more 100 parade entries, including the Yukon High School Band, members of the military and lots of children.

The parade, which officially opens Czech Fest with a cannon shot, lasted more than 1 hour, 45 minutes and was among the longest parades in the festival’s storied history.

While the parade kicked off the festival, the crowning of the royalty helped wrap up the event.

Madelyn Novosad, 18, of Yukon, was selected as queen. She is the daughter of Billy Novosad and Sharon Major.

Emily Cole, 15, was selected as the junior queen. She is the daughter of Phillip and Amy Cole of Oklahoma City.

Maylee Chapman, 9, of Yukon was selected as princess. She is the daughter of Melissa Chapman.

Liam Fraser was named prince. The five-year-old is the son of Todd and Jamie Frazer of Edmond.

In between the events, thousands of people shopped, talked and ate.

More than a dozen food trucks could be found throughout downtown serving everything from waffles to smoked turkey legs.

Inside the beer garden at the Czech Building, Czech beans, sauerkraut, rye bread and kalabasa could be found. The aroma was just enough to draw fans inside the big tent.

In the building, hundreds crowded for an opportunity buy kolaches, which were among the biggest draws of the event. More than 30,000 of the tasty pastries were gobbled up by early afternoon.

While Saturday turned out to be an almost perfect day for the festival, strong storms did move in early Saturday.

Officials said at least five booths that had been set up Friday were damaged in the storms. Otherwise there were no injuries.

“You couldn’t have asked for better weather or a better day. All of my vendors were really happy,” said Oklahoma Czech Inc. President Marjorie Jezek. “There were lots of people.”

Jezek said officials will begin looking at the 2018 Czech Fest early next year.

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