Hastings Czech Fest happening Saturday

Local4 News at 6
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 11:02 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - There will be a number of happenings in the Tri-Cities this weekend, with one being the South Central Czech Festival. The upcoming event in downtown Hastings will be held at the Eagles Club on June 3, at 9:30 a.m. and marks the 47th annual celebration.

The Czech Fest will kick off with a bake sale showcasing Czechoslovakian food and polka music, concluding with an auction. Organizers said the festival centers around being proud of Czech heritage.

“It’s important to celebrate your heritage because it’s a part of who you are and it’s a better way to get in touch with your identity, to really know where your family came from and like what makes you, you, and for us it’s special,” said Emma Cerny, Ms. Nebraska Czech Queen. “We’ve grown up around the Czech traditions and food and it’s a way to connect with your family.”

Cerny said Czech Fest may be more popular than you think and that people travel from across the county to participate in Czech heritage celebrations.

“It’s pretty prominent in some of the smaller towns,” Cerny said. “They put on huge Czechoslovakia festivals. There’s parades, people would come from Texas, Oklahoma, just to really see the beauty of the Nebraska Czechoslovakians.”

Cerny said it’s beautiful to see everyone celebrating the same culture at Czech Fest and that she loves seeing the multiple generations come together.

“As one of the younger people that celebrates this heritage, getting to see the older generations really light up when a younger person is celebrating the same things that they did with their grandparents,” Cerny said. “Just the dancing, knowing the foods, knowing words, songs. Watching them light up is one of the best parts about keeping it alive.”

Cerny said her family is one comprised of bakers, who specialize in the best Kolace. They’re also looking looking to capture more attendees.

“Just getting to witness a new thing is really big and just getting more people to come to the festivals,” Cerny said. “I know in Hastings there’s quite a few people that show up, though there could be so many more people there.”