CEDAR RAPIDS — Like many event organizers making difficult decisions, the Czech Village Association has opted to cancel this year’s Houby Days, which had been scheduled for May 15-17, 2020.
“After 42 years , it is with great sadness, that we announce the cancellation of the 43rd Annual Houby Days Festival scheduled for May of 2020,” the association posted Wednesday, March 25, on its Facebook page. “It is (a) decision based on the health and well-being of our community , as well as visitors who travel to attend this annual event. We are following the recommendations set in place by the WHO (World Health Organization). We hope to be able to plan some other fun events, for later on this year. Please stay safe & healthy. We appreciate your support at this time.”
Houby Days, named for the Czech word for “mushrooms,” attracts thousands of visitors to the annual spring event in Czech Village, with live music, a parade, carnival, food sales, morel mushroom contest and more.
One of the events during Houby Days, the Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa pageant, scheduled for May 16, has been postponed. A new date will be announced in the future.
The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has been a concern for numerous organizations, with some postponing events and others canceling events outright.
Even with limited testing, Iowa has confirmed 145 cases of COVID-19 as of today, with 2,578 negative tests to date.
The first Iowa death due to coronavirus was reported March 24, and two workers at a Cedar Rapids care center have tested positive for COVID-19.
Even with the cancellation of Houby Days, Iowans will likely be looking to gather the treasured morel mushrooms once the weather warms, typically in April.
Take a look back at some of the morel winners and Houby Days festivities from years past: