Tag Archive | polka

35th Annual Cesky Den in Hillsboro

6-10-17 / 2nd Saturday in June

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.

This year we had music by the Musical Brass. They are from Green Bay. Also Barefoot Becky & the Ivanhoe Dutchmen. They are from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Enjoy!

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!

The Hillsboro Women’s Civic Club  had a Bake Sale, the pie was yummy!

Everyone is Czech at Cesky Den, Vitamé Vas!




Shawano Octoberfest 2016

October 1, 2016

Shawano Octoberfest sign


Shawano really knows how to celebrate autumn with their family-friendly Octoberfest.  We didn’t see the parade since we were in Keshena for dinner that night.  We were there bright and early on October 1 and enjoyed some Polka music by Polka Dynamics.

Many crafters were selling cute autumn-themed decor too.

Autumn crafts in Shawano

crafts at Shawano Octoberfest

Themed towels in Shawano

A favorite part of the festival were all the scarecrows and decorations on Main Street. Here are some of them!


Tasty treats too from Spiral Gourmet by Freedom Foods, LLC.



What a wonderful time in Shawano, we will be back soon!

Barn Shed in Shawano


Green County Cheese Days in Monroe – 100th Anniversary Celebration! Part 1

Cheese Days 100th Logo

3rd Weekend in September- Even Years 9-21-14

Cheese Days is THE festival we have eagerly awaited all summer.  Green County celebrates it’s Swiss and cheesemaking heritage at this festival. It is so big and takes so much planning, it only occurs biennially. This year celebrates the 100th anniversary and was it BIG! Enjoy this slideshow I created with the official Cheese Days song, sung by Rudy Burkhaltar and Martha Bernet in 1967.

It is held downtown with the beautiful courthouse as a backdrop.  The whole square is filled with booths and tents with concessions, food, beer and entertainment. There is such demand for cheese curds, you have to get tickets before getting in line for the curds. We didn’t, it was almost parade time and there was so much to see before it started at 12:30.

Cheese curd booth at Cheese Days in Monroe


Famous cheese sculptor Sarah Kaufmann was also there, carving a piece of cheese right there.  We were so lucky to meet her, even had a picture with her 🙂 She was sponsored by the radio station The Big AM 1380- WEKZ.

Sara Kaufmann at Cheese Days

Sarah Kaufmann and us at Cheese Days

We also enjoyed some great polka music by the Goodtime Dutchmen,  let’s listen in!

Also some accordion and singing by Master Yodeler  Kerry Christensen.

Kerry Christensen at Cheese Days


Another picture with a character, the mouse from Colony Brands Swiss Colony.  They have an outlet in Madison too.

Al and Laurie and Mouse

On Saturday (we were in Cambridge for their fall festival) they made a wheel of Swiss Cheese right at the festival at this booth.

Cheese Making booth at Cheese Days


They also had a knock-off of the American Gothic cut-out you could get your picture with, funny!

A Swiss Gothic Al and Laurie

It was 12:15 and we had to find a spot for the parade QUICK. We found a good one at the last-minute, up high above the crowd at the post office, just off the square and on the parade route. It was a great vantage point we will have to remember next time in 2016.  Read next article about the parade.

Cheese Days parade vantage point



Hillsboro 32nd and 33rd Annual Cesky Den Festival


Hillsboro signCzech Capitol crest

Firemans Park Entry

The Cesky Den Festival is the top reason we came here for a visit. My partner adventurer and husband Al is almost 1/2 Czech and this ethnic group is one of the smaller ones in Wisconsin. His ancestors settled in the Manitowoc area, this group settled here in the Cheyenne Valley, both groups in the 1800’s.  We went on Sunday, so admission was $10 each, it would have been $15 on Saturday. You get a neat collector button to wear too while at the festival.

Cesky Den Button

The festival is held at the Fireman’s Memorial Park, many events taking place in their large pavillion, no weather to worry about.  Here is an aerial picture that was found on their Facebook page, we were in the long building with the green roof.

Fireman's Park Aerial

Here is the view as we go in.

Hillsboro Firemans Park Pavillion

We arrived just as the events were beginning. A Ecumenical church service began, honoring veterans, singing by the Yuba-Hillsboro Czech Singers.

Service at Cesky Den Festival

Here is the backdrop on the stage alone, looks great!

Festival backdrop

There were many people selling items as well, I got a CD of Czech songs performed by the group above. They even had a couple of cutouts for a funny photo op, we had fun with this one!

Al and Laurie Czech picture

It was great fun watching the Domaci Youth Folk Dancers perform traditional Czech dances. They also had a maypole dance outside. It was windy!

Maypole Dance in Hillsboro

Now for a dance inside.

We enjoyed a great lunch of a pork sandwich and traditional Kolache, a dessert pastry. We had the poppyseed, yum!


A lady in traditional dress let me take her picture, very beautiful! She made it herself!

Czech Lady with dolls

Soon it was time for some polka and waltzes performed by Malek’s Fisherman Band from Duncan, Iowa. They are a busy group!

Malek Fisherman band

We had a great time at this festival, we both learned a lot about Al’s heritage as well!



Cesky Den schedule

We were back for the 2nd year to enjoy their festival downtown this time.  The official kickoff was at the Fireman’s Community Center.

After the ceremony we enjoyed lunch at Barbie’s Kitchen, LLC. They served a traditional Czech pork dinner that was out of this world!

Barbie's Kitchen

We also enjoyed 6 dances performed by the Domaci Youth Folk Dancers. Good job!

We were so glad we could return this year too!