30K kolache readied for Yukon Czech Day

Two crews baking famous Czech pastry inside Czech Building

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Oklahoma Czechs’ volunteer Ray Dillberg carries tray of fresh-baked kolache “hot out of the oven.” Cream cheese and apple are the most popular among festivalgoers. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

With Yukon’s Czech Day less than a month away, volunteers have been hard at work in recent weeks baking thousands of a famous Czech pastry.

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“We always try to make 2,500 dozen,” said Marjorie Jezek, president of Oklahoma Czechs, Inc. “That’s our goal.”

Eight flavors of kolache are being baked in the Czech Building’s oven: Apple, apricot, cherry, cream cheese, lemon, poppy seed, prune, and strawberry.

“Cream cheese and apple are the most popular,” said Jezek, in her 17th year as Oklahoma Czechs’ president.

The Czech people like poppy seed and prune the best, she noted.

Kolache will be sold to the masses during the 56th Annual Oklahoma Czech Festival set Saturday, Oct. 1 in downtown Yukon. Jezek has been festival chair for 20 years.

Trays upon trays of doughy treats are being readied for the Czech heritage celebration, sponsored by Oklahoma Czechs, Inc.

“Get there early,” Jezek advised. “Last year, we were sold out before noon.”

Since July, baking crews led by Janice VanBrunt and Jezek have been preparing the kolache inside the Czech Building, 5th and Cedar.

After coming out of the oven, the yummy pastries are packaged, labeled and placed into walk-in freezers to await their Czech Day unveiling.

Kolache will be sold Oct. 1 inside the Czech Building and at the Oklahoma Czechs’ booth on the northeast corner of Fifth and Main.

Prices are $2 for one, $8 for a half dozen and $15 for a dozen.

Proceeds from kolache sales is one of the main sources of income for Oklahoma Czechs, Inc., helping continue this festival tradition on the first Saturday each October.

Volunteers were recruited this year to help Oklahoma Czechs’ members with the kolache baking.

Oklahoma Czechs, Inc. volunteers Milo Shedeck (left) and Gary Olvera place dozens of fresh-baked kolache on cooling trays inside the Czech Building, 5th and Cedar. Some 2,500 dozen kolache are being prepared for the 56th Annual Oklahoma Czech Festival set Saturday, Oct. 2 in Yukon. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Czech bakers roll dough before placing cherry filling during kolache baking inside the Oklahoma Czechs Building: From left, Jaime Olvera, Lucy Shedeck, Cindy Fridrich, and Gloria Olvera. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
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YUKON’S LARGEST SPECIAL EVENT

The Oklahoma Czech Festival is Yukon’s largest special event, traditionally held on the first Saturday in October.

To celebrate the City of Yukon’s 75th anniversary, the lodges of Yukon Czech Hall began this festival in 1966.

Oklahoma Czechs’ goal is to preserve and share the old Czech customs so dear to the people of Czech descent.

These customs, including recipes, kroje, songs, and dances, have been handed down from generation to generation.

Learn more at http://www.czechfestivaloklahoma.com

Oklahoma Czechs, Inc. President Marjorie Jezek places a tray of fruit-filled kolache inside the oven in the Czech Building’s kitchen. Eight flavors are being prepared. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
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