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Czech Days volunteers demonstrate how to make kolace, a Czechoslovakian dessert made from a semi-sweet yeast dough and filled with fruits or cream cheese. Demonstrations on how to make kolace will be held at 3 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday in the Gift and Information Center kitchen, Main Street, Tabor. (Republic File Photo)

Tabor to celebrate 63rd annual Czech Days Thursday through Saturday

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TABOR -- Tabor will keep its heritage alive as the city celebrates the 63rd annual Czech Days Thursday through Saturday.

The annual event draws about 10,000 visitors each year, said Dennis Povondra, who is a member of the Czech Days Committee.

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The festival offers spectators a wide variety of activities to celebrate the heritage of many local residents. It's a very big deal for a small town.

"Tabor is only about 430 people," Povondra said. "It's a big undertaking for a small town to put on a celebration like this."

Each year the festival is dedicated to a community member. This year, Povondra said that Czech Days is dedicated to Clarence Vlasak.

Vlasak passed away in 2008 but his commitment to Tabor clubs and services made him a top candidate for this year's dedication, Povondra said.

Among the largest draws at the festival each year are the Beseda Dancers, Povondra said. The Beseda Dancers include 238 dancers dressed in authentic Czechoslovakian dress who dance to Czech and Slovak folk music.

"Having 238 people dancing at the same time is unique in itself," Povondra said.

The Beseda Dancers will perform at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Sokol Park.

The ethnic Czech dessert kolace is also a popular feature of the festival. The dessert, a pastry made of semi-sweet yeast dough and filled with fruits or cream cheese, is a favorite of any people attending the festival.

Povondra said at least 2,000 of the pastries are made each year for the festival. Demonstrations on how to make the dessert will be at 3 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday at the community center in Tabor.

Other large attractions a the festival are a carnival, craft fair, a parade on Friday, live polka music, ethnic foods and other stands and displays.

An ethnic Czech meal including roast beef or pork, sauerkraut, dumplings, mashed potatoes, bread, kolace, and coffee or tea will be served at Beseda Hall. The Legion Hall and Fire Hall will have other food including hot dogs, taverns, sandwiches, salads and soups for sale, too.

Among the daily events, several museums will be open for public viewing. They include the mini-Czech village and Blachnik Museum, which houses homemade unique items from Emil Blachnik.

A list of events is as follows:

Thursday

n 6:30 p.m., Mac's Carnival and Midway opens; 6:30 to 9 p.m., Craft Fair, school gym; 7:30 p.m., Tabor Bluebirds baseball game, Leonard Cimpl Park; 10:30 p.m., Rich Schild's fireworks display, Leonard Cimpl Park.

Friday

n 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Craft Fair, school gym; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., gift and information center open, Main Street; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Cachet Stamp Cancellation, Post Office; 10:45 a.m., memorial service, Vancura Memorial Park; 11 a.m., non-denominational church service, St. John the Baptist's Pioneer Chapel, Vancura Memorial Park; 1 p.m., parade; 1 to 5 p.m., quilt display, Quilter's Quarters; 3 p.m. opening program, Sokol Park; 3 p.m., kolace baking demonstration, community center; 3:15 p.m., introduction of Czech Days queen candidates and costume judging, Sokol Park; 3:25 p.m., parade awards, Sokol Park; 3:30 p.m., music by Bob Vrbsky, Sokol Park; 4:15 p.m., music by the Dick Savadny Band, Sokol Park; 5 p.m., music by The Bumblebees Band, Sokol Park; 6:15 p.m., music by Nase Mala Kapela and the Polka dance-off contest, Sokol Park; 7 p.m., Czech Days Queen Talent Contest, Sokol Park, 8 p.m., Tabor 1890 Band concert, Sokol Park, 8:30 p.m., Tabor Beseda Dancers, Sokol Park; 9:15 p.m., dance with music by The Bumblebees Band, Beseda Hall.

Saturday

n 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., craft fair, school gym; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., gift and information center open, community center, Main Street; 11 a.m. Kiddie Parade, one block east of church; 11:30 a.m., clowns and balloons, Sokol Park; noon, Kiddie Parade awards, cachet stamp winners, crowning of Szech days prince and princess, Sokol park; 1 p.m., encore of queen talent contest, Sokol Park; 1 p.m. kolace baking demonstration, community center; 1 to 5 p.m., quilt display, Quilter's Quarters; 1:30 p.m., music by Bob Vrbsky and the Button Masters, Sokol Park; 1:30 p.m., pedal tractor pull contest, south of Sokol Park; 2:15 p.m. music by Dick Savadny Band, Sokol Park; 3 p.m., music by Fred's Combo, Sokol Park; 5 p.m., Czech Polka Mass, St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church; 6:15 p.m., Bon Homme High School Bohemian Band, Sokol Park; 7 p.m., Dick Zavadny Band, Sokol Park; 7:45 p.m., Tabor 1890 Band, Sokol Park; 8:30 p.m., Tabor Beseda Dancers, Sokol Park; 9 p.m., crowning of the Czech Days Queen, Sokol Park; 9:30 p.m., Czech Days Royalty Coronation Ball with music by the Mark Vyhlidal Band, Beseda Hall.

For more information on Czech Days, log on to www.taborczechdays.com.

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