"Wisconsin-Happy Festival State", by Eve Phillips. My husband and I love to travel in the state of Wisconsin where we live and get great pictures on the way. My name is Laurie Kutil and photography has become a great passion of mine since 2010. One thing I have learned in researching each town before visiting it is that, "Every town has it's story". When I do uncover those stories by connecting with local residents, our experience becomes so much richer. In turn, sharing the stories with you brings me joy :)
This is our 4th Cesky Den and we were happy we could come back again. Here is the full schedule of events. Admission is $10 and includes a souvenir button and you get entered into a raffle too!
They have made some changes since our first time in 2013. The festival seemed mostly adult oriented our first time, now they have added more modern attractions the kids are enjoying these days. The morning began with a Color Run, first implemented last year.
Also a bounce house for the kids.
I still miss the Yuba Hillsboro Czech Singers, they have not been there for a few years. At least I have the CD they produced a few years back. It has traditional Czech songs sung in Czech. Here are the liner notes. This picture is from our first time in 2013.
Notice the cool backdrop? It shows businesses in Hillsboro.
Enjoy the Color Run and the Opening Ceremony below.
The Cesky Den Royalty
Inside the Fireman’s Community Center is where most of the fun takes place. The polka bands provide plenty of music for dancing, and people love to dance here.
Speaking of dancing, Cesky Den isn’t complete without a performance by the Domaci Dancers, talented children in the community keeping Czech dances in the forefront. I’ve watched the older children grow up over the last 4 years. Now they are helping teach the younger ones. Denise Huntley heads the Domaci Dancers and has done a wonderful job! See this year’s performance below.
You can get your traditional Czech pork dinner here too, it was delicious! Here is the menu.
I got the cookbook they had for sale, recipes for the same food so you can make it at home too! It was only $5.
Photo by Al Kutil
Czech bakery items are also for sale, Kolachy, Rolicky (poppyseed rolls), and more!
After lunch, we headed over to the craft show. There was also a vest-making free workshop for the kids. We plan on having vests to wear next year!
You can even get a picture behind a cutout, kids too!
This was our third year attending Cesky Den in Hillsboro. We went in 2014 and 15 also and had a great time. The festival has been evolving and changing to keep up with the times and adding more kid-oriented attractions in addition to the adult favorites activities.
Among the new activities this year, a Color Walk/Run, 5 K in length. Unfortunately, it was not advertised real well or a link provided to sign up. You could not register on the same day for this event. This is the information I found later, maybe they will do it again next year.
Here are the participants at the conclusion of the event, we arrived at 10:15 and enjoyed seeing everyone and the street coated in colored chalk dust.
Other new additions to the festival was a bounce house and petting zoo. A real cute miniature horse, a calf and two goats charmed everyone who came by to pet them. It was hosted by the Hillsboro 4-H club. Face Candy was there to face paint also.
This year the Opening Ceremony was held on the outdoor stage to officially kick off the event at 11:00. They have a Royal Court. Every year a Cesky Den King, Queen, Prince and Princess, or two princes or princesses are chosen. This year’s Royal Court, left to right: Princess Sophia Munson, Queen & King, Kelli & Tom Dank, Princess Aubrey Schiller.
We also enjoyed a traditional Czech meal with Polka music in the background playing favorite dances. A children’s story was even read to the kids in both Czech and English, Little Mole’s Adventures, From Spring to Winter. There are many Little Mole books to read to your children, cute story!
After the story the Domácí Dancers performed traditional Czech dances. Domácí means “hometown”. We have been watching these children grow up since our first visit two years ago. Now there were new younger dancers and there were more than ever this year. They are doing a great job passing on the Czech traditions to the next generation.
Enjoy our video of the festival, including the dancers!
As usual we had a great time at this festival, we hope to come back for a 4th time next year. Everyone is Czech for a day at Cesky den!