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Welcome to the Czech Fest

POSTED: July 23, 2014 1:22 p.m.
Courtesy photo/

Kayla Cullens, committee chair of the 2014 Wilson CzechFestival

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Dear Friends,

This year, Wilson will celebrate its 54th annual After Harvest Czech Festival. Over those 54 years the festival has grown from a simple one-day event to an activity packed three days of live entertainment, children activities and events that portray Wilson’s strong Czech Heritage. With so much to do, we can proudly boast that the “Road Ends Here” — Wilson is your final destination.
Czech Fest 2014 will kick-off its  three days of festivities Thursday, July 24. We welcome back Lonewolf Catering who will be serving a BBQ supper at the Social Garden. Also making his return is polka great Joe Dolezal. We are expanding the rides and games, and will now begin them on Thursday evening in addition to Friday and Saturday. Continuing to grow in popularity and participation is the third annual Czech Fest Pong Tournament, which will also be conducted Thursday. Make sure to register early because the number of teams allowed to enter will be capped. 
To round out the evening, you can dazzle the crowd with your musical talents with Karaoke provided by Encore Sound. The events will take place in the Lions Club Park and at the Social Garden at the corner of 25th Street and Ave. D.
Friday, we honor tradition and welcome back the Wilson City Band and the Wilson Youth Czech Dancers.  Don’t miss the popular Wilson Lions Club ice cream social featuring homemade ice cream. Make sure to take a stroll down the Czech Fest Midway and enjoy the rides and games. In a tough decision, the planning committee decided to not host the Battle of the Bands competition this year, but opted instead to support a very popular and well-known band with local ties — Homebrew. Homebrew is set to begin at 9 p.m. in the Social Garden.
Saturday is bursting with many events. As in years past, Saturday will begin with the 5K Run/Walk and legislative breakfast. As we gear up for primary elections in Kansas, this will be an excellent time to meet and visit with current and possible future leaders of the state. 
The theme for the 2014 Czech Festival Parade is “Where the Road Ends and the Party Begins.” It will begin at 9:30 a.m. This year we are honored to have Jane Galliart has our grand marshal. She was the driving force behind the always successful Czech Festival parade for many years before handing the reins over to Kate Schiermeyer.
A new activity this year we are sure the kids will enjoy is the Four-Points Ranch Petting Zoo and Pony Rides. They will be set up from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Legion Memorial Park, across from Wilson State Bank.
Make sure you come hungry because you can’t leave without trying all the fantastic food — from traditional Czech cuisines to your favorite festival funnel cakes. And what better way to satisfy your cravings than by taking part in the kolache eating contest.  Rounding out the evening is the annual Talent Show, Polka Mass, and Teen Dance. 
Saturday night, Czech Fest 2014 is excited to host the band Paramount.  Paramount rocks the stage, playing high energy sing-with-us 80s anthems from Journey, Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Poison, Bon Jovi, Guns N Roses and much more!  They have regular shows in multiple Midwest cities and states including venues such as Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium and Wichita’s Cotillion Ballroom. Opening for Paramount is another local talent, Hellcreek Bridge. Hellcreek Bridge has a Red Dirt sound that is impressively growing in popularity around Kansas, and we are thrilled to welcome them to our festival.
There are too many events to list, so make sure you grab a brochure or Czech out our facebook page, www.facebook.com/CzechFest.
We would also like to remind all festival goers that a few of the events will have cover charges and may require participation waivers, so kids make sure you have your parents handy.
As you can imagine, an event like this does not happen without all the dedicated individuals committed to our community, coming together to organize this festival. I would personally like to thank the City of Wilson and our committee members: Darcy Hubka, Kate Schiermeyer, Julie LaShell, Jessie Loveland, Steve Muleski and all our event coordinators. It also takes the support of many generous sponsors. Because of you and your vibrant support for this great community, this festival will continue to be a success in the years to come.

On behalf of the Czech Festival Committee,
Kayla Cullens
Committee Chair

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