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Jean Hunhoff makes her way through the parade in an antique McCormick Farmall tractor during Czech Days in 2012 in Tabor. (Daily Republic file photo)

Czech Days starts today in Tabor

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Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

TABOR -- The town of Tabor is ready for its 66th annual Czech Days celebration, which starts Thursday night and runs through Saturday.

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The celebration opens Thursday night with the craft fair, which lasts throughout the weekend, at the school gym, and the midway carnival, both opening at 6:30 p.m. The night is capped with a Tabor baseball game at 7:30 p.m., when the Bluebirds host Avon, and the Rich Schild Fireworks Display following the game at around 10:30 p.m.

The celebration is dedicated to the late Josie Kutilek, who died in 2011 and was a big supporter of the annual celebration with her husband, Emil, according to Czech Days press materials. The Kutilek family would regularly travel from town to town before each celebration to advertise the event, and Josie taught her children and grandchildren how to dance in the Czech tradition.

The dedication ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. Friday.

The parade is at 1 p.m. Friday in Tabor. The parade will have history themes that honor local families, businesses and organizations that have been a part of the town's history, as Tabor is one of many towns in the state celebrating 125 years of South Dakota statehood. The community itself dates back to 1872.

Mark and Charlene Kronaizl are the parade marshals. Both have been intricately involved with the community and the St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church and regularly help with float building, the Beseda Dancers and the singing as part of the queen coronation.

Miss Mariah Kostal, 2013 Czech Days Queen and Princess Joslyn Walloch and Prince Christian Rettig will be present throughout the weekend.

Four locals are vying for the honor of Czech Days Queen, which will be awarded at 9 p.m. Saturday night. They are Katie Kniffen, daughter of Dennis and Mary Kniffen, of Tyndall; Liz Kubal, daughter of Dan and Rita Kubal, of Lesterville; Elisabeth Rettig, daughter of Lee and Kari Rettig, of Tabor; and Carly Sternhagen, daughter of Dean and Teresa Sternhagen, of Tabor.

Schedule of events

Friday:

Czech Pioneer Village and Museum, south of Sokol Park in Vancura Memorial Park, is open to the public both days, with walking tours available. Adjacent to the park is the Blachnik Museum, open to the public both days.

• Cachet stamp cancellation at the post office from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Quilters Quarters. Also from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Gift and Information Center.

• Parade at 1 p.m., starting in front of St. Wenceslaus Church.

• Kolace and roll-baking demonstration at 3 p.m. Friday in the information center.

• Free concerts by the Bob Vrbsky Band at 4 p.m., followed by a concert from the Gregory Polka Band at 5 p.m.

• Nase Mala Kapela and the Polka Dance-Off Contest at 6:15 p.m.

• The 2013 Czech Days Queen talent contest and costume judging at 7 p.m.

• The Tabor 1890 Band concert at 8 p.m., followed by the Tabor Beseda Dancers at 8:30 p.m.

Saturday:

• Kiddie Parade at 11 a.m., one block east of St. Wenceslaus Church. Any child not yet 12 years of age may participate. Entry forms may be downloaded from the Czech Days website at www.taborczechdays.com. Bring your entry to the start of the parade route by 10 a.m.

• Music and tumbling by River City gymnastics and cheer competitive teams at Sokol Park immediately following the kid's parade.

• Clowns and balloons at 11:30 a.m., followed by introduction of the queen candidates and the Kiddie Parade awards. 2013 Czech Days Prince and Princess crowned, following announcement of Kiddie Parade awards.

• Pedal tractor pull competition at 1:30 p.m., south of Sokol Park.

• Bob Vrbsky Band at 3 p.m. in Sokol Park.

• Czech Polka Mass at 5 p.m. in St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, featuring Tabor area Czech singers and musicians.

• Bon Homme High School Bohemian Band at 6:15 p.m., followed by the Tabor 1890 Band at 7:30 p.m.

• Tabor Beseda Dancers at 8:30 p.m. at Sokol Park.

• 2013 Czech Days Queen crowned at 9 p.m. at Sokol Park

Czech meals schedule: Legion Hall open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Beseda Hall serving from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday with food available until 11 p.m. and Saturday meals served from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with food available until 12 a.m.

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