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Annual Czech Fest draws thousands

The Oklahoma Czech Folk Dancers wave to the crowd Saturday during the Czech Fest parade. Photo / Larissa Copeland

Sunny weather combined with mild temperatures brought throngs of people into downtown Yukon for Saturday’s Czech Festival.
Marjorie Jezek, president of Oklahoma Czech Inc., said the 54th annual event drew significantly more people than the previous two years.
Last year’s event was marred by storms, which kept numbers down.
That was not the case on Saturday.
“Everything went really well. I don’t think you could have asked for a better day,” Jezek said. “You couldn’t walk through the booths after the parade, and the parade route was just packed.”
That was despite the fact that both the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State had morning football games.
Jezek said that many people waited until after the game to come to the festival, which kept the numbers up throughout the day.
Among the highlights of the festival was the arrival of Anna Tombazzi, Miss Czech-Slovak USA.
The 24-year-old from Lancaster, California, performed on the violin before the crowd just before the crowning of the Miss Czech-Slovak and her court.
The new royalty included: Queen Emily Cole, Junior Queen Kinzey Shirazi, Princess Lola Yanda and Prince Connor Imhoff.
Jerusha Brown, who was the reigning queen, announced that she was the first runner-up in the national competition, which was held in Wilbur, Nebraska.
Brown thanked everyone in the local Czech-Slovak community for their support over the past year.
“It has been an honor, a very big pleasure and honor. I have traveled so much throughout our stateb and I have learned so much about our heritage. I cannot thank you enough. I could not have done this without you,” she said.
Jezek said planning for next year’s festival, which will be on Oct. 3, will begin in January.

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