A holiday ‘just for the town of Wilber’: Young dancers prepare for Czech Days
Wilber Czech Days attracts people from out of state every year
WILBER, Neb. (KLKN) – People from out of town are always impressed at what a community of 2,000 can put together each year, and the Czech dancers are a big part of that.
Sheryl Kastanek and Dirk Altman have been teaching the dancers in Wilber for over 30 years now. Altman teaches the senior group, and Kastanek takes care of the younger kids.
“Every time people come from out of state to our festival, they are amazed at how our kids can dance,” Altman said. “The kids are out there on that street dance doing the polka, and they are young kids, people can’t believe it.”
Barrett Vogel has been performing at Czech Days for a few years now. It is something he really looks forward to.
“It’s just like a holiday that is just for the town of Wilber,” Vogel said.
Before performing around 10 times during Czech Days, Altman says the dancers put in over 20 practices. His favorite part about teaching is watching everyone get excited about coming back to the festival every year.
“As much as you practice, you kind of get on them a little bit, but then when you see them in costume and you see the audience here ,and it is just really good for our festival,” Altman said. “This festival is one of our top five things that attracts people here, it is something unique that nobody else has.”
If you have never been to Czech Days, the locals say you have to come experience it for yourself. Altman says one of the things that makes Czech Days so special is the comradery everybody has, and the Czech music.
“For four days out of 365, people just think this music is really, really fun,” he said. “We change the whole atmosphere that Czech Days is really, really fun for everyone.”
You can find a list of everything happening during Czech Days here.