CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Organizers hosted a scaled-down version of the popular Houby Days festival, one year after the annual event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Kicking off with a concert by the Czech Plus Band on Friday, May 14, 2021, the event continued into Saturday with street vendors, food and more. The final day will be Sunday, May 16.
The morel mushroom contest was canceled due to a poor mushroom season and the Houby Days Parade, carnival and other mainstays of the festival did not take place, due to uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, but other events were added, including the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library’s hosting of the Iowa Pop Art Market as a complement to Houby Days.
The market highlights multiple student projects through Iowa BIG and Metro High School, such as a mural based on the “Bias Inside Us” museum exhibit, and includes the works of 18 Iowa artists, along with vintage clothing and jewelry.
Also, the museum’s Kosek Building on 16th Avenue opened its doors for an exhibit on the history of Czechs.
Cool temperatures and gray skies didn’t dampen spirits of participants, while rain stayed at bay for the most part.
The museum also will host “Hody 2021” next weekend, kicking off a new festival. Houby Days takes its name from the Czech word for mushroom, while hody translates to “feast.”
Related: Giant mushroom appears for Houby Days in Czech Village. See more photos from Houby Days 2021, below © Cindy Hadish/Homegrown Iowan