Czech In 2020

Annual Yukon festival returns in pandemic version

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Mom and daughter duo, Samantha Hart and Karen Hlinkicky (from left), make dancing a family affair at the Czech Celebration. Samantha was a past Czech Queen (2009) and was happy to come back to her roots for a night of fun. SEE MORE PHOTOS ON PAGE 7A. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

From Staff Reports

The annual Yukon Czech Fest outdoor event was canceled this year, but an indoor event at Czech Hall kept the spirit of the event alive and well with music and dancing.

The Czech royalty pageant was canceled this year due to COVID-19, so last year’s royalty volunteered to serve a second reign.

The Chicken Dance is a Czech favorite and got the crowd fired up for a night of dancing. Members of the Bohemian Knights Czech band, were Mike Nielson, Mark Guinn, Neil Hickerson, and Milo Shedeck who kept the music playing.

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Royalty includes, Princess Lola Mae Yanda, Queen Kinzey Shirazi, Prince Connor Imhoff, and Queen Emily Cole.

Dance instructor Elaine Benda, gave Tracy Kinealy and Stephen Zaborowski pointers on polka dancing. The Norman residents learned about the annual Czech celebration on social media and headed to Yukon to learn more about the Czech culture.

Leif Francel shared his dancing skills with his 3-year-old daughter, Athena. He said he has been dancing on the large wooden dance floor at Czech Hall since he was his daughter’s age, and “wouldn’t miss an opportunity to share his culture with his family.”