CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Kolaches might be the attraction, but volunteers are the heart of festivals, such as the St. Wenceslaus Czech Goulash Day, held Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018.
Preparations take weeks, with planning going beyond that time.
Kolache bakers were up before sunrise, including one woman in her 80s, who had hosted a get-together the night before – lasting until 11 p.m. – in which volunteers peeled potatoes and prepared other vegetables for the festival’s signature dish.
Kolaches quickly sold out and live music entertained the crowds, including the Czech Plus Band, Mike Lasack and his Rhythm-Aires and the Iowa Accordion Club.
Music also was center stage at CzechFest, held across the Cedar River in Czech Village, where bands such as Michael Moncada and Whiskey High performed outdoors on the Kosek Bandstand.
A scarecrow contest, hayrack rides and giant bubble “pond” were among other activities.
Last year’s festivals were met with an unseasonably warm day, with temperatures that soared into the 90s, but this year, weather was picture-perfect for the two neighboring events.
Learn about other Czech events in Iowa.
See photos of Goulash Day and CzechFest 2017 and more from both festivals this year: