CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library celebrated the belated 25th anniversary of a monumental event with a weekend full of activities.
On a chilly day on Oct. 21, 1995, U.S. President Bill Clinton, Czech President Václav Havel and Slovak President Michal Kováč visited Cedar Rapids to dedicate the museum’s new building, an event intended to be commemorated on the 25th anniversary in 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the anniversary celebration was delayed by a year.
Cecilia Rokusek, the museum’s president and CEO, took the delay in stride, introducing a number of dignitaries who came to celebrate the event one year late in 2021, many of whom she calls friends.
The museum’s signature event, BrewNost, was held Friday, Sept. 17, to kick off the weekend, followed by a series of public events Sept. 18, including a presentation by Jaroslav Kanturek, Consul General of the Czech Republic in Chicago; a ribbon cutting and parade of kroje (folk costumes) hosted by Helene Cincebeaux for the exhibit “Crowning Glory: A Feast of Slovak & Moravian Headdresses” and a screening of “Pictures from the Old Country” by producer/director Susan Marcinkus.
Miss Czech-Slovak U.S. Lauren Gerik and Miss Czech-Slovak Kansas Jessica Wonderlich were among visitors to participate in the weekend’s celebration.
Events continue from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, at the museum, 1400 Inspiration Place SW, in Czech Village.
See more photos from the anniversary celebration, below. (photos © Cindy Hadish/Homegrown Iowan)