Wilber dresses up for 53rd annual Czech Days - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Wilber dresses up for 53rd annual Czech Days

Wilber dresses up for 53rd annual Czech Days

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 Posted By: Camila Orti


One weekend of every summer, the town of Wilber grows to more than 25 times its population thanks to Czech Days.

Officially known as the Czech Capital of the USA, Wilber has been home to one of the biggest Czech festivals in the nation for more than 50 years. Czech Days brought close to 50,000 people to the town over the weekend for traditional foods, music and dancing.

"It's fun for the kids, come out and see the parade, we usually come for the parade every year," Shawn Moore of Crete said.

This year, the town had to work a little harder to get ready for the crowds after surviving a devastating hail storm in June.

"We're fine, we're fixing up, you can still see plywood here and there but it's okay, we can fix up," festival president Mary Keller said.

The show must go on, and the kolaches must be baked.

Organizers say most vendors sell out of the traditional Czech pastry before the end of the event. That's why you'll see dozens standing in line at Frank's Smokehouse for a fresh batch.

"They're amazing, I mean just looking at them, they're the best," Karen Bonczynski of Lincoln said.

"To get them fresh out of the oven is definitely the way to go, that's how you have to eat them," Benjamin Goldstrom of Omaha said.

Frank's Smokehouse owner Scott Havel says his family works through the night to keep up with demand, but still run out of kolaches for periods of time.

"We put in a lot of hours, takes a lot of work," he said.

As the kolaches sell out and the event wraps up Sunday, organizers say they're already looking ahead to next year for a bigger and better festival.

Around 50,000 people are expected to come through the town of 2,000 to celebrate Czech culture. It's a tradition that's been around for more than 50 years. The three-day festival kicked off Friday and will wrap up Sunday night.

See the re-cap tonight at 5:30 and 10.

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