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Kolache Fest to celebrate Czech culture

Sept. 12, 2003

By Trina Long, reporter

For those who have ever wanted to be Czechoslovakian for a day, they have their chance Saturday at the Kolache Festival in Caldwell.

Pam Wood, who is helping coordinate the festival, said Czech heritage emerges during the festivities, and reminds people of their 'grass roots.'

'Caldwell has a Czech museum and artifacts, but people don't know the story behind things, so they come to the event to grasp the concepts of Czech tradition a little better,' Woods said. 'Hopefully this will continue for many generations.'

At first, the festival included only the bake show. The kolache is a well-known Czech pastry, and event organizers thought they could share the Czech background by baking the pastries and creating new ideas on how to serve them.

'We promote this for a better understanding of who we are today since America is known as a melting pot society,' Ann Sebesta, chairman of the bake show, said.

Made with fruit toppings or meat fillings, served cold or hot, the pastries attract people from all around Central Texas. But the festival has more than just kolaches. Authentic ethnic displays of Czech cooking have tempted bakers for 17 years to compete for the title of Burleson County Grand Champion Baker at the bake show.

The daylong festival will provide information about Czech ancestry through arts and crafts, bands and Czech singers. The festival also will have a quilt show, antique machinery and tractor show and a street rod and classic car show.

'This festival is different from most because normally the festivals will include various ethnic groups, and the Kolache Festival remains strictly to be of Czech descent,' Bernard Rychlik, mayor and chairman of the Kolache Festival, said. The music, singing and other parts of the festival will be in the Czech language.

The festival is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. downtown and is free to the public.