Hannah Stuelke, center, poses for photos with members of the Czech Royal Court before the Houby Days Parade on Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Summer came early for Czech Village as temperatures soared into the 80s during the 46th annual Houby Days.

The three-day festival, which celebrates morels (houby is the Czech word for mushrooms) began Friday, May 17, followed by a parade and other festivities on Saturday, May 18, and more to come on May 19.

University of Iowa Women’s basketball standout Hannah Stuelke, a Cedar Rapids native, led the Houby Days Parade as grand marshal, with some in the crowd sporting “Happy Like Hannah” T-shirts and others in support of Stuelke.

T-shirts in support of Hannah Stuelke were spotted in the crowd of parade-goers. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Entertainment on Friday included music by the Czech Plus Band, Deep Dish Divas and Near Misses.

On Saturday, the St. Paul Czech & Slovak Folk Dancers entertained crowds, while Cecilia Rokusek, president and CEO of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, led a kolache-making demonstration and several contestants competed in kolache-eating contests.

Members of the Czech Heritage Foundation Royal Court were crowned and visiting Czech queens from other states participated in the crowning ceremony and rode in the parade.

The parade proceeded despite construction on the Bridge of Lions, which connects New Bohemia to Czech Village, the historic business district on 16th Avenue SW.

The Houby Days Parade navigates construction on the 16th Avenue Bridge of Lions on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Related: Bridge closure won’t deter Houby Days Parade in Czech Village

St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, offered tours of the church at 1224 Fifth St. SE, on Saturday and will again host tours from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday for its sesquicentennial. St. Wenceslaus, a Czech national parish, was founded in 1874.

Houby Days vendors will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, with live music and other entertainment.

This year’s festival is dedicated in honor of Mary Kay Novak McGrath, a Czech Village visionary, supporter and businesswoman, who died of cancer in February.

Learn about a Prague-inspired astronomical clock coming to Czech Village and see more photos, below: