27th annual Czech Fest begins Sunday
Jennifer Lee Preyss
Sept. 19, 2012 at 4:19 a.m.
"Vitame vas Czech Fest!"
It's is a welcome some may hear on Sunday at the 27th annual Czech Heritage Festival.
Beginning at 10 a.m., the Victoria Community Center will be abuzz with kroj-adorned Czechs celebrating their heritage in festival style.
More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the annual event, which features regional food and dancing, a variety of Czech merchants, and games for the entire family.
"This is all just to help support the Czech culture, we're going to have the best food and drinks and entertainment in town," said festival chairman Donald Dusek. "I pray and ask the Lord every day that this will be the most successful festival in history."
A pre-festival televised Czech-English Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m. at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church.
Mass will be led by the Rev. Joseph Hybner, who said he will be wearing his favorite Czech heritage kroj at the festival, and baking Shiner beer-based homemade bread to be put up for auction.
"The great thing about Czech culture is the people. They were tough people, coming over here with nothing and accomplishing what they did," Hybner said. "It's my roots and we have quite a bit to celebrate - especially the music and singing."
Live music from Randy Janak Spinning Wheel DJ begins at 9:30 a.m. The Shiner Hobo Band, Fritz Hodde and the Fabulous Six, and the Red Ravens are scheduled to perform from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Live and silent auctions with homemade and handmade items will be available throughout the day.
The Texas State Tarok Tournament and seventh annual Homemade Beer and Wine Show, as well as live demonstrations on kolache and quilt making will be featured at the festival.
Special Czech Fest guests include Kenna Kubenka, the 2012 Miss Texas Czech-Slovak Little Sister, and Caitlin Orsak, the 2012 Miss Texas Czech-Slovack Queen and First Runner-Up in the Miss Czech Slovak U.S. Pageant.
Other games include face painting, the cake and pastry wheel, arts and crafts, and a Czech Heritage Museum.
All proceeds from admissions and lunch will benefit the Czech Heritage Society organization.
"It's going to be a good time and very relaxing. It's a lot of work, but it's rewarding," Dusek said.