National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library embracing Czech tradition
CEDAR RAPIDS — The houbys are on hold, but the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in southwest Cedar Rapids is embracing another festival, serving up food, music, wine tasting, a tree planting and even a cooking demonstration by a Slovak ambassador later this month.
Slovakian operatic tenor Jozef Ivaska Jr. will perform a ticketed matinee concert May 23 at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in southwest Cedar Rapids, as part of the first Hody festival, organized by the museum. (National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library photo)
It’s called Hody, which is Czech for “feast,” and is an annual festival in the Czech Republic, held on no particular date between May and September. Celebrations can range from a progressive meal to a multiday celebration, with food, maypoles and music/dancing being the hallmark activities.
Hody 2021 will take place May 21 to 23, with most events happening at the museum, 1400 Inspiration Pl. SW, Cedar Rapids. Many of the events have early reservation deadlines and limited seating.
Drive-up traditional Czech meal: 4 to 7 p.m. May 21; $25, order by today at ncsml.org/hody2021/
Meal to include: pork loin (veprove maso); dumplings with gravy (knedlik); sauerkraut (zeli); one kolach (kolace). Select Czech beer and additional kolaches will be available for purchase at time of pickup.
Linden tree planting: 10 a.m. to noon May 22, at Czech National Cemetery, 2200 C St. SW, Cedar Rapids. Museum President and Chief Executive Officer Cecilia Rokusek, Czech Heritage Foundation President Jim Gruntorad, Slovak Ambassador to the United States Radovan Javorcik and Czech Center of New York Director Miroslav Konvalina and Deputy Director Jan Zahour will plant four linden trees donated by Trees Forever. The event is free and open to the public.
Many cultures consider the linden tree, with its heart-shaped leaf, a sacred symbol representing peace, love, prosperity, friendship and good luck.
Coffee and kolaches: Noon May 22 at the museum, following the tree planting; free and open to the public. Konvalina will speak about the Czech Center of New York.
Cooking demonstration: 2 to 4 p.m. May 22, at the museum. Ambassador Javorcik will demonstrate how to prepare laugaricio tartiflette (zemiaky z laugaricia). This potato dish incorporates sauerkraut, sweet wine, bacon, smoked meat and lots of cheese. Audience members will be invited to taste the finished dish. This event is free for museum members and $15 for others. Tickets will be available at the door, but reservations are recommended since room capacity is limited to 72. Call (319) 362-8500 or go to ncsml.org/hody2021/
Czech and Slovak wine tasting: 5 to 6:30 p.m. May 22, at the museum, $60. Featuring sommelier Steven Greif. Sample wines from the Bohemian region, an area that traditionally featured sweet wines but has undergone significant expansion.
Greif has been leading wine tastings covering a broad range of regions and styles for many years. Reservations are recommended as the room capacity is 70; call (319) 362-8500 or go to ncsml.org/hody2021/
Jozef Ivaska Jr. in concert: 2 to 4 p.m. May 23, at the museum; $10 public, free to museum members; reservations recommended since audience is limited to 100; call (319) 362-8500 or go to ncsml.org/hody2021/
Ivaska, a Slovakian tenor, will perform operatic, traditional folk and Broadway repertoire.