By Conrad Dudderar
Although the early registration deadline has passed, Yukon’s Jaime Olvera says there’s still time to enter the annual Yukon Czech Day parade.
Take note Yukon – the 56th Annual Oklahoma Czech Festival is just around the corner.
Oklahoma Czechs, Inc. will present the day-long festivities on Saturday, Oct. 1.
Olvera, the Oklahoma Czechs’ parade chairman, said about 90 entries have already been received.
“They’ve started pouring in,” he said Thursday. “Last year, we had about 110 entries so we’re hoping for at least that many this time.”
The 10 a.m. parade along Route 66 in Yukon is a festival highlight, usually lasting 1-1/2 to 2 hours depending on the number of entries.
Thousands of people will line both sides of Main Street from Garth Brooks Boulevard to Third Street to watch one of Oklahoma’s largest parades.
There’s unlimited space – but time is running out to enter. Although the “soft” deadline was Sept. 1, Olvera says he’ll take late entries until Sept. 19.
Civic groups, businesses, churches, and other organizations are encouraged to complete an application soon, so their entry has a preferred placement along the parade route.
“Get your application in to get a good spot,” Olvera advised.
The Czech Day parade starts at Garth Brooks Boulevard and Main Street, proceeding east eight blocks in downtown Yukon.
Among featured entries will be the Shriners, classic cars, motorcycles, bands, school groups, Czech royalty and dancers, fire trucks, police vehicles, tractors, Jeeps, and politicians.
As usual, the main stage will be at Fifth and Main. Fox 25 News anchors Dan Snyder and Wendy Suares will announce parade participants as they pass.
“Josh Calhoun will be running our second announcing stage by Sonic (729 W Main),” Olvera reported. “It will be the first time we’ve done that in a while.”
Judging the 2022 Oklahoma Czech Fest parade will be Gloria Olvera, Rob O’Hara and Susan O’Hara. Winners will be selected in three categories – youth, adult and commercial.
This is the second year that Olvera has volunteered as parade chairman for Oklahoma Czechs, Inc. A Yukon resident since 1976, Olvera and his family also help bake kolaches.
Anyone interested in entering the Oct. 1st Oklahoma Czech Festival parade should contact Olvera at (405) 210-0210 or firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTINUING THE TRADITION
Oklahoma Czechs, Inc. has presented the Oklahoma Czech Festival since Yukon’s 75th anniversary in October 1966.
Yukon’s largest event, the festival typically attracts crowds estimated at 50,000 people.
The Czech heritage celebration is always presented on the first Saturday of October. Yukon is the “Czech Capital of Oklahoma.”
Besides the morning parade, Yukon Czech Day 2022 with feature Czech music and dancing, crowning of Oklahoma Czech-Slovak royalty, carnival and midway games, arts and crafts booths, and food vendors.
Of note, the Yukon Czech Day carnival returns this year for the first time since 2019. The carnival opens Friday night in Old Mill Plaza.
Czech kolache, klobasy and souvenirs will be sold on festival day Oct. 1 inside the Oklahoma Czechs Building at Fifth and Cedar. The Czech Building is the festival “hub”.
The historic Yukon Czech Hall, 205 N Czech Hall Road, will host a royalty coronation ball to conclude festivities Saturday night.
Music will be provided by the Masopust Polka Band and the Bohemian Knights.
The mission of the Oklahoma Czechs, Inc. is to preserve the precious traditions of the Czech people.
“The family-friendly Oklahoma Czech Festival offers something for everyone and keeps Yukon’s heritage alive by sharing the Czech customs handed down from generation to generation,” according to the official festival website.
For more information about the Oct. 1st Yukon Czech Day, call festival coordinator Marjorie Jezek at (405) 206-8142.