CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Just one year after making a post-pandemic comeback, the St. Ludmila’s Kolach Festival is again on hiatus.
Organizers say the popular festival was suspended for 2023, as the school where the kolaches were baked has been demolished to build a new parish center.
They hope construction is finished to bring the festival back in June 2024.
See photos from the 2019 kolache bake.
Designed by architect Leo Peiffer, the 1958-built elementary school on 21st Avenue SW was a mid-Century building in solid condition, but the city’s Historic Preservation Commission declined to put the demolition on hold in order to determine its architectural significance. The parish is still raising funds for the new building’s completion.
The new building will be used for offices, classrooms for religious education, Youth Ministry, Adult Faith Formation, a designated space for Bingo, an industrial kitchen that can be used for baking kolaches, catering and providing community meals.
In recent years, volunteers have baked an average of 5,500 dozen, or 66,000 kolaches, for the Kolach Festival, named in honor of the fruit-filled Czech pastry.
The festival, which began in 1938, typically includes carnival rides, bingo games, a Kiddieland, raffle, silent auction, beer and wine garden and live entertainment, in addition to kolache sales.
See photos from a past Kolach Festival.