Members of the Czech Heritage Foundation’s Royal Court pose for a photo at the Catherine McAuley Center’s table March 7, 2020, during the Community Cultural Celebration & Expo at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Just before social distancing became de rigueur, the Czech Heritage Foundation was among organizations to participate in the Cedar Rapids Public Library’s Community Cultural Celebration & Expo.

Several board members are shown at the Czech Heritage Foundation table during the Community Cultural Celebration. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The event, held March 7, serves as an illustrative example that understanding our differences can bring us closer together.

Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart kicked off the celebration alongside the Czech Heritage Foundation’s Royal Court, including Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Breckyn Pokorny, followed by a bagpipe procession to the upper level of the library, where a number of community organizations showcased information about their groups.

The Czech Royal Court — young people ages 6 to 16 who represent the Czech Heritage Foundation at festivals and other events — tried their hand at traditional Japanese archery, learned about numerous non-profit groups and met elected officials, including state representative Art Staed.

Entertainment was provided by singers and dancers, such as the Amen Choir and the Champagne Academy of Irish Dance, in the library’s Whipple Auditorium.

Related: Houby Days 2020 canceled in Czech Village

Given that the library is among the many resources closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, we are reminded of the importance of libraries everywhere in expanding our world through events such as these. While the buildings are closed, online offerings are available, as we look forward to their full return someday.

Find information about the Czech Heritage Foundation at: and see more photos from the Community Cultural Celebration, below: