‘That first year we didn’t expect anyone, but 10,000 came’: Doris Ourecky remembers 61 years of Czech Days

WILBER, Neb. (KLKN) – Doris Ourecky remembers the very first Czech festival four people in Wilber put together, and it was nothing short of extraordinary. She remembers cooking duck anywhere there she could, not prepared for the 10,000 people that showed up to the town’s doorstep.

“It just keeps getting bigger and better,” Ourecky said. Roughly 40-50,000 attended this year. Quite a feat for a small town with a population of 2,000.

Ourecky co-founded the Miss Czech-Slovak Pageant 35 years ago, bringing princesses and queens from all over the nation with Czech ancestry to Wilber. According to Ourecky, the girls must trace their ancestry to a specific village in the homeland and wear the village’s traditional clothing.

The princesses made appearances at the Grand Parade Sunday afternoon, which lasted more than two hours. The parade was filled with traditional Czech music and dance.

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