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The Gazette KCRG
Posted May 16, 2012
Houby Days celebration this weekend in Cedar Rapids features food and new events

CEDAR RAPIDS – An architectural scavenger hunt will be among the new events for Houby Days this weekend, May 18-20.

The weekend kicks off Friday, May 18, with the Taste of Czech and Slovak from 5-7 p.m. at St. Ludmila’s Catholic Church, 211 21st Ave. SW.

Chefs from Czech Village, New Bohemia and downtown Cedar Rapids restaurants, along with experienced home cooks, will dish up favorites such as goulash and kolaches.

Participants wrap ribbons around the May Pole during the Houby Days Celebration, Saturday May 14, 2011 in Cedar Rapids. This year's Houby Days will be May 18-20. (Becky Malewitz/SourceMedia Group News)

The event is the primary fundraiser for the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library’s Guild.

Tickets are normally $10, but this year, as the museum prepares to reopen July 14, the Guild is asking for a free-will offering as admission.

Event co-chairwoman Beth Chacey DeBoom said she hopes people respond with donations to celebrate the long-awaited reopening.

“It’s home cooking, along with some really great restaurants,” she said. “It’s the type of cooking that most of us don’t get any more, from the women and men who know how to do it the best.”

Houby is the Czech word for mushroom, which the festival celebrates.

A morel mushroom contest is among the weekend’s events and an egg and houby breakfast is scheduled for 7-10:30 a.m., both Saturday and Sunday on 16th Avenue SW in Czech Village.

Another highlight is the parade at 1 p.m. Saturday, through both New Bohemia and Czech Village.

The scavenger hunt features 16 architectural elements found in Czech Village and the New Bohemia district across the Cedar River.

Winners have a chance to win prizes from district merchants.

A preservation showcase is slated to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday in New Bohemia, featuring vendors and a Kid’s Corner where children can build a birdhouse.

The film, “The Greenest Building,” will be shown at 11:30 a.m. in CSPS Hall, 1103 Third St. SE.  Speakers at 1:30 and 3 p.m. will discuss landscape preservation and “mortar matters.”

Amanda McKnight Grafton, a member of the Historic Preservation Commission, said the showcase demonstrates the benefits to communities when older buildings are restored and repurposed.

Preservation award winners – property owners who have restored their homes or buildings – will be announced during a Saturday night celebration at CSPS.



For a full schedule of Houby Days events, see: http://czechvillagecedarrapids.com/


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