Costumed Czech dancers dance around Maypole at the Clarkson Czech Festival each year. Photo: Aimee Tomasek, June 1993
Clarkson Czech Festival
This celebration takes place the last weekend in
June. It features costumed
beseda dance groups, both child
and adult; a Maypole dance performed by young girls; and a button
key accordion concert of as many as 60 players at a time. Czech
music is also performed by the Clarkson Band and in group
sing-alongs. Public dances to waltz and polka music are held in the
streets, taverns, and the Opera House. An arts fair showcases Old
World traditions such as fine needlework, lace-making, rug-weaving,
carding of wool, and making pastry brushes from goose feathers.
Demonstrations of pastry-making are given, and the
listy produced are for sale
afterward. Among the other authentic foods available is the
Czeska buchta, a sandwich of roast pork, sauerkraut, and
cheese. A tournament in the European card game of
taroks is held and a trophy awarded to the champion. Sunday evening there
is an hour-long parade of marching bands covering a mile-long
route. Czech language dramas and Sokol gymnastic demonstrations are
given by groups from other festivals. Both the Catholic and
Presbyterian churches of Clarkson offer special Czech language
worship services. Begun in 1963, the Clarkson festival preserves
the heritage of early settlers in the "Bohemian Alps", a region of
eastern Nebraska heavily settled by Czech immigrants.
The Czech Festival is documented in text,
photographs, promotional materials, news clippings, and a book of
Originally submitted by: Doug Bereuter, Representative (1st District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.