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3 generations make kolaces
Making kolaces  . Photo: Becky Herman

Tabor Czech Days

Held in mid-June, this two-day celebration of Czech heritage attracts as many as 10,000 people. A colorful parade with floats carrying out the Czech theme takes place the first day. Performances by the costumed Beseda Dancers, trained in the traditional Czech dances, provide an authentic experience. Polka band music is performed throughout the festival, and there is a public dance each evening. Visitors consume thousands of kolace, the traditional Czech pastry, along with other Czech foods. A Czech Days Queen, Prince, and Princess are crowned preceding the Grand Coronation Ball that culminates the festivities. In the last few years, an additional attraction has been the Polka Mass in St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church; the mass features area singers and musicians performing traditional Czech music and songs enjoyed by the hundreds of worshipers filling the church.

The first celebration of Czech Days under that name was in 1948, although the proposed name appears in official records as early as 1941, and a celebration has been held in Tabor for more than 85 years.

The well-documented project includes a report, 31 photographs, newspaper clippings, Czech Days brochures and posters, cachet envelopes, a digital video of the Beseda Dancers, a video of Czech plays, 1990 and 1991, a cassette of a Czech band and St. Wenceslaus Choir, programs from previous years of the event, posters, and several books: History of the Czechs in the State of South Dakota, South Dakota: Our Towns, a Pictorial Review (Southeast Region); A Pictorial Review of Religious Symbols and History (published by the St. Wenceslaus Catholic Parish), a Tabor High School Reunion Book (1971), a Tabor Czech-Tennial Pageant Book, and a Tabor Days cookbook.

Originally submitted by: Tim Johnson, Senator.

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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.

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