The 55th Annual Oklahoma Czech Festival is returning to Oklahoma’s Czech Capital on Saturday, Oct. 2! Festival goers will experience Czech culture including food, music, dancing, traditional costumes and imported merchandise. “The Oklahoma Czech Festival is our way of preserving and sharing of the old Czech customs along with providing a part of the traditional Czech foods, so dear to the people of Czech decent,” said Marjorie Jezek, President of the Oklahoma Czech Inc. “These customs and food recipes have been handed down from generation to generation.”
The festival officially kicks off at 10 a.m. with one of the state’s largest parades on Main Street in Yukon, a stretch of Historic Route 66. Oklahoma Czech Royalty Pageant contestants will be featured in the parade along with Czech dancers, local businesses, civic and youth groups.
Following the parade, festivities shift to the Oklahoma Czech Building on 5th Street, one block north of Main Street. A variety of family entertainment will be provided throughout the day including polka music, dancing, and carnival rides. A top-rated craft show with more than 150 arts and crafts booths will be set up for your shopping pleasure. Traditional Czech foods including kolache pastries and klobasy sandwiches and Czech souvenirs will also be available for purchase. The Oklahoma Czech Festival concludes with the Oklahoma Czech Royalty Coronation Ball at the Czech Hall, south of I-40 and Czech Hall Road.
The Oklahoma Czech Festival began in 1966, when the Czech Lodges of Yukon Czech Hall, WFLA Lodge 67 and Sokol Lodge sponsored a festival to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the City of Yukon, a Czech-settled community from the Oklahoma Land Run. Vitame Vas (We Welcome You) and Sousedska (Get together) were the themes for the first Oklahoma Czech Festival. These friendly greetings are still themes of the festival today. The City of Yukon was formally declared the Czech Capitol of Oklahoma by Governor Dewey Bartlett in 1968.