CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church will celebrate a century of its popular festival Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, with the return of Czech Goulash Day.
See photos from the 2021 Czech Goulash Day
Czech Goulash Day, celebrated in various forms since 1922, features its namesake goulash – what some might consider a beef and vegetable stew — and kolaches, a fruit-filled traditional Czech pastry.
Annual parish fundraisers at St. Wenceslaus date back to 1894, then known as the Bazaar. The Bazaar was suspended during World War I, but the parish fundraisers resumed in 1922.
This year, a 10:30 a.m. Mass is followed by the Iowa Accordion Club at 11:30 a.m.; Barefoot Becky & the Ivanhoe Dutchmen at 12:30 p.m.; Svetlusky dancers at 2:30 p.m. and Sam Joens from 3-5 p.m.
Food, raffles, Bingo and a kids zone will be under a circus tent and on the church grounds at 1224 Fifth St. SE. Festival-goers can also tour the church, built in 1904.
St. Wenceslaus sustained damage during Iowa’s August 2020 hurricane-strength derecho when straightline winds of up to 140 mph tore through Cedar Rapids. Winds ripped off the roof of the church’s Glovik Parish Center, a 1926 gymnasium that serves as the hub of social activities. The festival was suspended due to the damage in 2020, but resumed last year.
The church was also hard-hit during unprecedented flooding in 2008.
St. Wenceslaus, founded in 1874 by Bohemian immigrants, is a Czech National Parish, meaning any Catholic of Czech origin can be a member, regardless of parish boundaries.
More: See photos from the comeback of the Meskwaki Powwow in Iowa