By LARISSA COPELAND
The 54th annual Oklahoma Czech Festival is scheduled for Oct. 5, promising attendants food, fun and plenty of Czech atmosphere.
In October 1966, the lodges of Yukon Czech Hall, WFLA Lodge No. 67 and Sokol Lodge Karel Havlicek joined forces to celebrate Yukon’s 75th birthday. That festival was so successful, according to festival coordinator Marjorie Jezek, that it became a yearly event.
“That’s how Oklahoma Czechs, Inc. began,” Jezek said.
Beginning at 10 a.m. Oct. 5, a parade will kick off at Garth Brooks and Main Street. Jezek said this year’s parade boasts 107 entries, with everything from carolers to motorcyclists.
Every year, on the first Saturday in October, thousands flock to Yukon to celebrate Czech culture and heritage, including traditional dances, clothing, recipes and music.
“People come to the festival to celebrate their heritage,” Jezek said. “People come back year after year for the food, and to see people that they haven’t seen. It’s like a reunion.”
The food, she said, is special – an authentic Czech meal of Klobase, sauerkraut and kolaches will be served under a tent at the Oklahoma Czech Building, 25 N. 5th.
The kolaches, especially, are popular fare, Jezek said. For weeks, volunteers and members have baked more than 2,400 dozen of the sweet patries.
“People have to come early, because those sell out fast,” she said.
Jezek said about 150 craft vendors will also be in attendance, selling items that will include Czech souvenirs.
The festival, Jezek said, also helps preserve and promote Czech heritage.
Schedule of Events
The 54th annual Oklahoma Czech Festival in Yukon will get underway Oct. 5 with a variety of activities.
Below is the schedule of events.
9 a.m. — The Magic Music Man Machine, which will be under the tent at the Oklahoma Czech Inc. Building until 11 a.m.
10 a.m. — The Czech Fest Parade begins at Garth Brooks Boulevard and Main Street. More than 100 entries are expected.
11 a.m. — The Masopust Polka Band performs.
Noon — U.S. Czech and Slovak National Anthems are performed; A welcome from Oklahoma Czechs Inc. president and an introduction of special guests.
12:30 p.m. — The Masopust Polka Band performs.
1:15 p.m. — Czech Folk Dancing;
1:30 p.m. — Ceskabeseda;
1:45 p.m. — Tra-ditional Bohemian and Moravian songs and dances;
2:15 p.m. — The Bohemian Knights perform;
3:15 p.m. — Bohe-mian and Moravian folk dances;
4 p.m. — Announ-cement of parade winners and crowning of 2019-2020 Chezh-Slovak Royalty;
5:30 p.m. to midnight — Royalty Coronation Ball to be held at Yukon’s Czech Hall.