For Marjorie Jezek, it literally rained on her parade. That didn’t stop the Oklahoma Czech Festival from being another huge success.
Jezek, who is the coordinator for the annual event, said that an estimate 20,000 people turned out Saturday to enjoy all things Czech.
The 53rd annual event faced two huge obstacles Saturday. The weather, and the Red River Rivalry between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns.
The parade, which included 112 entries, started under cloudy skies with cool temperatures. But there was intermittent rain throughout the 90-minute event.
That didn’t stop thousands of people from lining both sides of Yukon’s Main Street to see cool floats, lots of politicians and the Yukon High School marching band make the mile-long trek from Garth Brooks Boulevard to Third Street.
Just as the parade ended, a downpour began.
That drove throngs of people beneath a tent set up outside the Oklahoma Czech Building where live Czech-Slovak music was being performed and dozens of people took the opportunity to participate in traditional dancing.
Others enjoyed a taste of traditional Czech food, including Klobase, sauerkraut, beans and kolaches.
“Everything went well,” said Jezek.
“The rain didn’t seem to hamper us. A lot of people stayed until 5 p.m.,” she said.
In fact, by about 1 p.m., the rain had moved out and the skies had cleared, Jezek said. It made for a great day of fun and festivities.
She said none of the vendors left, and there were only a couple of cancelations from the parade.
One of the biggest draws each year are the kolaches. More than 28,000 were sold during the day.
“It took a little longer than normal, but we sold out,” she said.
Attendance was down a bit. She said the rain may have scared a few people away, but a bigger factor may have been the OU-Texas football game.
Traditionally, it has been played on the second Saturday in October. This year, it was played during the first weekend. Kick-off also was at 11 a.m.
Jezek said that hopefully, next year it will return to its traditional weekend.
Jezek said she and other volunteers will begin working on next year’s festival in January.
The winners of the annual Czech Festival Parade have been announced.
1st Place — Yukon 4-H
1st Place — St. John Catholic Schools
1st Place — Studio 5-6-7-8
2nd Place — Smith and Turner Mortuary
Jerusha Brown, Oklahoma City
Jayden Mason, Mustang
1st runner-up — Kinsey Shirazi, Edmond
2nd runner-up — Aspen Hein, Yukon
Molly Truett, Prague
1st runner-up — Kennedy Myrick, Yukon
2nd runner-up — London Lippencott, Mustang