Polka music, kolaches, and lots and lots of pivo (beer), make the small town of Wilber, Nebraska, the place to be the first weekend in August. Each year, the Czech Capital of the United States hosts thousands of Czechoslovakians  (and beer drinkers) for the Wilber Czech Festival. The three-day event is a celebration of Czech heritage and since my grandmother was a Moravek and we live only 10 miles from Wilber, Steve and I thought we’d make the short drive to Czech out the festivities today. We hadn’t walked a block toward the festival before we heard the word, “dumpling” and then, we began hearing the polka music.

Lots of polka music filled the air today! (Photo by Ann Teget for www.postcardjar.com)

Lots of polka music filled the air today! (Photo by Ann Teget for www.postcardjar.com)

We arrived just in time for the Accordion Jamboree where a gazebo packed full of accordion players played songs like, “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” and “Beer Barrel Polka.”

Wilber Czech Dancers entertained crowds in the town's center. (Photo by Ann Teget for www.postcardjar.com)

Wilber Czech Dancers entertained crowds in the town’s center. (Photo by Ann Teget for www.postcardjar.com)

We had time to venture over to the art show for a bit before watching the Wilber Czech Dancers. Young children in Czech attire danced the “Flying Dutchman” and the “Chicken Dance” before a group of teenagers began to dance the

The detailed needle work on all of the Czech dresses was amazing. (Photo by Ann Teget for postcard jar.com)

The detailed needle work on all of the Czech dresses was amazing. (Photo by Ann Teget for postcard jar.com)

polka in the street at the town’s center.

We walked up and down the streets for a bit, admiring all of the beautifully crafted dresses and vests. Czech costumes were everywhere at the festival. Men, women, kids, and even dogs donned elaborate red, white, and black costumes. Sewing and needle work were also on display at a costume exhibit and quilt show.

While we were there we bought a Czech staple,  kolace (cherry, poppyseed and raspberry) and a loaf of freshly made rye bread . Then, we tried something new to us — Knedlik. For $6, we got a large styrofoam cup filled with a  mixture of kraut, dumplings, and pork. Wasn’t too bad.

We tried a Knedlik cup for the first time. It was a mixture of sauerkraut, dumplings, and pork. (Photo by Ann Teget for www.postcardjar.com)

We tried a Knedlik cup for the first time. It was a mixture of sauerkraut, dumplings, and pork. (Photo by Ann Teget for www.postcardjar.com)

I wasn’t feeling the best, but we did stay around long enough for the introductions of the Czech Queens from around the U.S. and even ran into a friend whose daughter and son are currently reigning Lincoln Czech Princess and Prince.

Lincoln Czech Princess and Prince. (Photo by Ann Teget for www.postcardjar.com)

Lincoln Czech Princess and Prince. (Photo by Ann Teget for www.postcardjar.com)

We left just before the big Saturday afternoon parade began but even so, we had a great time at the festival and will look forward to going back next year.  I’d love to see more of the Czech Heritage Demonstrations, the Bohemian Tractor Pull, and of course, the Kolace Eating Contest.

Have you been to Wilber’s Czech Days? What do you like best about the annual celebration? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you.

  • Like everything Ree Drummond does, the Pioneer Woman Boarding House is over the top in a really good way.⁣
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Guests in the appropriately named Emerald Room receive a true luxury experience especially in the bathroom. With a claw foot tub, walk-through shower, two vanities and two toilets, this room is a jewel. ⁣
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Have you stayed at the @pwboardinghouse? #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #thepioneerwoman #reedrummond #pawhuska #mercantile #pwboardinghouse #oklahoma #ranchlife #oklahoma #visitok @visitoklahoma #okie @VisitOsageCounty
  • Strawberry fields forever...⁣
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While traveling, we adore stopping in farmers markets and checking out the fresh produce available for sale. When we saw these strawberries in Tallinn, Estonia, we just had to take a picture.⁣
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The vibrant color of the berries tells us they were ripened naturally on the vine. You just don't get that color trucked in to a supermarket. And that natural ripening means, of course, that these are some of the sweetest strawberries you'll ever taste. Yum! #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #celebritycruises #cruising #seastheday #cruise #sea #beyondborders #humansatsea #cruiseaddict #cruisecritic #tallinn #lifeisbeautiful #cruiseship #cruiselife #estonia #strawberries #farmersmarket #lifeisshort #visitestonia #adventuregirls #tallinngram #berries
  • On our Baltic Sea cruise, we stopped in Stockholm, Sweden. To get there, we had to sail through the Stockholm Archipelago. ⁣
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For days leading up to our arrival in Stockholm, the captain of the ship kept telling us that we should plan to be up early so we could take in the scenery as we passed through the archipelago. After enough repetitions, we resolved to get up early to see what he was so excited about.⁣
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We are so glad we set the alarm. That morning, we sat on our balcony and had breakfast watching some of the most beautiful scenery we'd ever seen pass by our cabins. We had an up-close view of land that we've rarely had from a cruise ship unless it was docked. ⁣
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Sure, we travel to see specific things. Who doesn't? But we really love it when we find something like this that we didn't know existed, but it is so amazing it enriches our lives and makes us want to go back again and again.
  • In the @visitmasoncityiowa airport, is a new restaurant called CAVU American Kitchen & Cocktail Lounge. Offering chef-crafted foods and incredible cocktails, this restaurant has the best airport food we've ever eaten. In fact, we'll call this airport a destination.⁣
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Pictured here is Chef Cassie's fried potato salad. This was her elimination dish from the show, "Master Chef." Apparently, Wolfgang Puck didn't think much of it. After trying it, we don't think much of Wolfgang Puck's taste.⁣
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This dish, which is served warm, is composed of crispy fried potato chunks covered in delicious potato salad dressing. The combination of flavors and textures had us going back for more. #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #midwestliving #midwestlivingmag  #midwestmoment #igersmidwest #midwestisbest #masoncity #clearlake @masoncity
  • In Rochester, Minnesota, in the shadow of the famed Mayo Clinic, is a beautiful pedestrian area called the Peace Plaza. Because of its location, it's often the last area a person walks through as they go to the clinic hoping for help. And, it's the first place people pass as they leave the clinic sometimes with good news, other times to confront their own mortality.⁣
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The designers of the plaza seemed to understand the huge role the space would play in the lives of the people coming through. They designed it as a calming, meditative space filled with tranquility. It's a place you can refocus a little, and take some time to transition from the clinic to the world. And, it's just one more example of the ways that @minnesotas_rochester demonstrates humanity to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come each year to the clinic.
  • Are these salt and pepper shakers not the cutest?? Pawhuska, Oklahoma, is a magical place at Christmastime. We stopped by the @pwmercantile this morning and snapped a few new pics. Getting excited for the Holiday Lights Parade tonight!
  • We have four holiday gift guides up on the blog for the traveler, home cook, cruise lover, and road tripper on your shopping list! Just click on the link in our bio to check out our blog. ⁣
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One of our all-time favorite items (it made two of our lists) are these @EagleCreek packing items. This starter set goes with us on every single trip. Last year, Steve packed 16 size XXL shirts in on of them. They are super lightweight, safe space in your suitcase, and help you stay organized as your travel. ⁣
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What are your favorite gift ideas for travelers this year? ⁣
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  • Who's ready for some pumpkin pie??⁣
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The thought of digging in to a piece of pumpkin pie (served with a cup of coffee with pumpkin spice creamer) takes us back to a small town festival we love. ⁣
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A few years ago, our town of Crete, Nebraska, began holding the Great Pumpkin Festival during the first weekend of October.⁣
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From spring to fall, local volunteers tend gardens filled with pumpkin vines so that folks who come to the festival can take home a reasonably priced, locally-grown pumpkin. ⁣
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The festival is full of games, food, performances and fun. It's a wholesome day where the town turns out to celebrate another year together in a relaxed, calm atmosphere.⁣
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Does your town have a festival? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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