By Conrad Dudderar
A Yukon celebration returns this Saturday – a year after concerns about a devastating virus halted the annual tradition.
A day-long gala started in 1966 to mark Yukon’s 75th birthday, the Oklahoma Czech Festival is back Oct 2. The festivities are presented by Oklahoma Czechs, Inc.
Yukon City Council Member Donna Yanda predicted a large crowd at Saturday’s Czech Day.
“Our Yukon residents have been waiting for this day since last October when the festival had to be canceled,” Yanda said. “Everyone loves this celebration of our Czech culture and customs. It’s important we come together to continue this great tradition in Yukon.”
That tradition was postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19 health concerns. It marked the first year there hadn’t been an official festival since it began.
“The Czech Festival brings tens of thousands of visitors to our community, and we are so thrilled it will be back again on the first Saturday in October,” Yanda said.
“Everyone is Czech on Czech Day in Yukon!”
The usual happenings that festivalgoers have grown to love will return this Saturday for all to enjoy at the 55th Annual Oklahoma Czech Festival.
There will be the parade starting at 10 a.m. on Main Street, featuring about 75 entries. Parade marshal is Bernice Kolar, a longtime member of the Oklahoma Czechs, Inc. baking crew.
Other Czech Day festivities will include a craft show, food booths, pivo garden, live Czech music and dancing, and crowning of the 2021-22 Oklahoma Czech-Slovak royalty.
Daytime activities will be presented inside and around the festival’s “hub,” the Oklahoma Czechs Building at 5th and Cedar.
After the new royalty is announced, attention will shift to Yukon Czech Hall at 205 N Czech Hall Road.
A Czech Festival dance and royalty coronation ball, featuring music from the Masopust Polka Band and Bohemian Knights, will be staged from 5:30 p.m. to midnight at the historic landmark.
Although the Oklahoma Czech Festival returns Saturday, there won’t be a carnival or car show this year.
There will be inflatables, mechanical bull riding and pony rides by the craft booths near the Czech Building.
The Oklahoma Czech Festival is the City of Yukon’s largest event. City officials have requested no animals, even on leashes, at this Saturday’s festival.
Czech out the official Oklahoma Czech Festival program book inserted in the Sept. 29th print edition of The Yukon Progress.