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St. Wenceslaus Church prepares for Goulash Day after overcoming derecho damage

St. Wenceslaus Church is working hard to prepare for its 99th Czech Goulash Day on Sunday,...
St. Wenceslaus Church is working hard to prepare for its 99th Czech Goulash Day on Sunday, after overcoming derecho damage last year. On Monday, members prepared vegetables and baked test batches of kolaches, to get used to the equipment they haven't been able to use since the derecho hit.(KCRG)
Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 6:30 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -St. Wenceslaus Church is bringing back its Czech Goulash Day this weekend. It had to cancel the event last year after the derecho seriously damaged its buildings, and they’re still working on recovery.

Like many places in Cedar Rapids, the church sustained damage during the August 2020 derecho, including a severe hit to its Glovik Parish Center.

The parish center is the hub of social activities, primarily Czech Goulash Day. The celebrations have been an annual parish fundraiser at St. Wenceslaus dating back to 1894, when it was known as the Bazaar. The Bazaar was suspended during WWI, but resumed in 1922.

Czech Goulash Day, featuring its namesake goulash – what some might consider a beef and vegetable stew – has been canceled occasionally since then; most recently during flooding in 2016 and following last year’s COVID-19 pandemic and hurricane-strength derecho that struck a blow to the church.

They’re working hard throughout the week to prepare for the event, doing prep work and doing test batches of kolaches to get used to the equipment they haven’t been able to use since the derecho hit.

Patti Jansa, Parish Coordinator at St. Wenceslaus Church says it means a lot to be back throwing the event. “The fundraising, of course that’s important. But it’s the community. It’s the one time a year you might stand next to the one person scooping ice cream, or helping in the kids game, that you might not see because you attend a different mass than they do. It’s really a big community building thing for us.”

Live music will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sept. 26, outside the church at 1224 Fifth St. SE. Performances include the Iowa Accordion Club at 11:30 a.m.; Czech Plus Band at 12:30 p.m.; Svetlusky dancers at 1:30 p.m. and Barefoot Becky & the Ivanhoe Dutchmen from 3-5 p.m.

Bingo, raffles, a Kids Zone and tours of the newly renovated church are among other activities.

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