CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A Czech celebration known as Svatý Mikuláš was particularly timely this year in Czech Village.
The tradition, known in the U.S. as St. Nicholas Day, is celebrated in the Czech Republic on Dec. 6, which coincided perfectly with the Friday night the Czech Village Association annually holds its festivities.
Related: Learn about other Czech events in Iowa.
The celebration, including a performance by the Czech Heritage Singers, was held this year in the Kosek Building, 87 16th Ave. SW. The building is named for the Kosek Dime and Dollar Store located at the site for years in Czech Village.
Costumed performers dressed as Svatý Mikuláš (St. Nicholas) along with an anděl, the Czech word for angel, and čert, or devil, handed out candy to children who have been good or a rotten potato for those on the naughty list.
The event also included cookies, hot cocoa, a presentation about Czech and Slovak holiday traditions, and caroling at local businesses in Czech Village.
A procession ended at the Kosek Bandstand for the lighting of the Christmas tree. The Czech Heritage Foundation’s Czech Royal Court and Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa, Breckyn Pokorny, helped lead a countdown in Czech, from 10 to 1: deset, devět, osm, sedm, šest, pět, čtyři, tři, dva, jeden.
Other events this weekend include the Old World Christmas Market at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8.
Learn about other Czech holiday traditions and see more photos from the Czech Village celebration: