TCHCC Welcomes Czech Bands to Heritage Fest

 The Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center in La Grange will host the annual Heritage Festival & Muziky on Oct. 18 and 19. This year, the Center is proud to welcome two bands from the Czech Republic to help Czech Texans celebrate their heritage.

The Fest will open at 4 pm on Friday with their famous homemade chicken and dumplings served while it lasts in the Hanslik Banquet Hall beginning at 5:30 pm. Polka On! Octoberfest on the Deck will begin at 6 pm with music by the Dujka Brothers till 9:30 pm. Mark and John Dujka have been making music together for over 30 years and have several acknowledgements, including being inducted into the Polka Hall of Fame at the KC Hall in Hallettsville, and receiving a Favorite Song Award from the International Polka Association for their recording of Church Picnic Polka. The song is featured on their latest CD, Let’s Have a Party, which celebrates the duo’s 30th anniversary.

Saturday, the day kicks off with an opening ceremony at 10 am. The La Grange Ford Hospoda will be filled with cold pivo and musical entertainment by Praha Brothers and Banda Di Feste from 11 am to 6 pm. The Praha Brothers from Temple, Texas will play your favorite polka, waltz, and country tunes. Swing band Banda di Feste from the Czech Republic was founded in 2014 at the Pardubice Conservatory of Music on the initiative of students of the school. The basic band consists of five saxophones, four trombones, four trumpets, and rhythm instruments (guitar, bass, piano, and percussion instruments).

Muziky, Muziky to Feature Czech Folk Band
Enjoy more music at the Muziky, Muziky event from 7-9:30 pm in the Sanford Schmid Amphitheater. Always a popular part of the Heritage Fest, this year’s performers will be Mužátske Sbory Charvačané a Valtičan, a folk ensemble from the Czech Republic. The performance will be followed by a huge fireworks finale, sponsored by HEB.

In addition to enjoying the great music, you’re invited to stroll the Czech Village, an early 1900s recreated village complete with residential houses, barns, tavern, sawmill, and general store. Demonstrations of early life for the immigrants will take place throughout the grounds all day, including working in the saw mill, blacksmithing, corn shelling and grinding, hay pressing, and the making of textiles, noodles, sausage, and wine. Children activities will be available as well as Bingo in the Velehrad SPJST Hall.

An antique farm equipment and antique car show will spread through the village. Vendors and craft booths will be available for your shopping pleasure. Visit the country store for some good buys, including fresh, stone-ground corn meal for cooking. Plenty of food and cold beverages will be available as well.  The Janak Barn & Texas Czech Agricultural Museum displays farm practices and implements from the late 1800s to 1940.

The Czech Village houses two music museums. The Czech Music Museum of Texas, located in the Kalich House, features four genres of Czech music – classical, folk, polka, and liturgical. The Polka Lovers Club of Texas Museum, located in the Hoelsher House, features a display of Texas polka bands, as well as memorabilia and photos of the Polka Lovers Klub of America, Texas Chapter.

Inside the TCHCC main center, stop by the Czech Gift Shop to browse the brand-new stock of authentic Czech items, T-shirts, caps, crystal, periodicals, music CDs, and new Christmas decorations for 2019.  Watch textile demonstrations of spinning and looming, crochet, and knitting. Enjoy the current exhibit at the center – Made in Czechoslovakia, featuring handcrafted wooden, fabric, and glass items on display.

Have you always wondered about your Czech roots? The spacious Melnar Library will offer help with genealogy research. The Hanslik Hall will be the site of the KJT State Taroky Championship. Swing in there and they’d be happy to teach you this fun card game. Sign up for the SPJST Koláče Eating Contest. Plenty to do for the entire family!  Come out and Czech out the fun!

 Book your hotel rooms at the Best Western, 979-968-6800, and ask for the TCHCC Fest room block and discount before October 1.