March is a busy month for Czechs in Iowa.
The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library hosted a potluck for members of the museum and the Czech Heritage Foundation that coincided with Masopust, a carnival celebrated before the beginning of Lent.
To help celebrate, museum President/CEO Cecilia Rokusek used a family recipe for koblihy, in both prune and poppyseed, that she made at Sykora Bakery in Czech Village. The fried and sweetened pastry is known by some as Czech carnival doughnuts.
The Czech Heritage Foundation Royal Court kicked off another celebration on Saturday, March 9, as the Cedar Rapids Public Library hosted the annual Community Cultural Celebration and Expo, with nearly 30 organizations represented.
Wearing their kroje, or Czech folk costumes, members of the Czech Royal Court welcomed guests alongside Cedar Rapids Mayor Bradley Hart.
That night, the Cedar Rapids Czech School held their annual Chili Supper & Bake Sale, kicking off their 150th consecutive year as a school to offer students aged 6-14, and more recently adults, an opportunity to study Czech language, songs and customs.
New T-shirts and a book marking the Czech School’s 150-year history were sold at the event. An Easter lamb cake, another Czech tradition, was among items donated for the bake sale, along with kolaches, which disappeared quickly.
Yet to come this month, the annual St. Joseph’s Day Dance will be held from 2-6 p.m. Sunday, March 24, at the Ponderosa Ballroom, 195 First St. South in Walford, Iowa. The event features live music by Barefoot Becky & the Ivanhoe Dutchmen, a silent auction, bake sale and raffle prizes.
Learn about other Czech events in Iowa and see more photos from this week’s events, below: