Czech Heritage Club will be part of Dozinky

For the first time, the Czech Heritage Club will have a booth set up during the Dozinky celebration.

The local club will have drawings for some Czech items. The first prize is a quilt wall hanging featuring photos from both Bohemia and Moravia in the Czech Republic. Second prize is a Czech doll. There will be three other prizes, each including a set of five hand-painted eggs from the Czech Republic. The club's booth with also have information about the Czech culture, language and examples of folk dress.

Members will also be participating with a float in the Parade of Farm Pride. The entry will feature the Czech version of St. Nick - Svatej Mikulas. Sv. Mikulas was a bishop who was well known for aiding the poor. Because he was such a goodhearted person, the tradition of giving gifts to celebrate his feast day was established on December 6. Many local residents have participated in this celebration and dressed as Sv. Mikulas, an angel and several devils visiting homes. Sv. Mikulas would question children if they had been good. If they had, they would be rewarded with sweets; if not, the devil would give them coal or a rotten potato.

The Czech Heritage Club was organized in April 2002, originating as an outgrowth of Czech language and culture classes offered by Marian Topic as part of the New Prague Community Education program.

The club's goals are to preserve Czech culture in area communities, educate the public about the Czech culture and support other communities in their preservation and education efforts.

Some of the events the Czech Heritage Club has sponsored in the past have included a bus trip to the Czech Festival in Bechyn, yearly showing of Czech films at one of the local New Prague schools during the spring, financial sponsorship to the Minnesota Genealogy Society and the Domaci Czech Folk Dancers and a performance by the Melodian Band from the Czech Republic at the New Prague Ballroom in 2003.

The Czech Heritage Club holds monthly meetings on the second Wednesday of the month (March to December) at 7 p.m. at New Prague City Hall.

Interested persons are always welcome to attend. After the business meetings, there is a program. Some of the programs presented in the past included Czech topics such as kroj (folk dress), music, crystal, literature, genealogy and Easter customs as well as presentations by the WFLA (Western Fraternal Life Association) and the New Prague Area Historical Society.

For more information, contact Deb Ziskovsky, 952-652-2677, or Marian Topic, 952-758-4663.

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