August 5th, 2023

Berggren Architect staff attending the Czech parade in Wilber (in photo: Jerry, Garry, & Leroy)

Berggren Architects had a great time participating in Wilber, Nebraska’s 62nd annual Czech Festival in August. For the past several years, we have had a festival parade entry in this charming town. Wilber does a fine job preserving its ethnic heritage, and we have been privileged to have worked on several projects there.

Over the last 40-plus years in Wilber, the firm guided the restoration of the formerly vacant Hotel Wilber, brought the design of the Veterans’ Memorial to life, and most recently, completed the expansion project on the historic Saline County Courthouse.

This large festival celebrates Nebraska Czech heritage. The state was heavily settled by immigrants from Bohemia and Moravia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and Saline County and Czech traditions remain strong here even in daily life.

The three-day festival in Wilber is held each year on the first weekend in August, and is the largest in the Midwest. The action-packed schedule features many cultural and educational activities, entertainment, dancing, exhibits, Czech food, and more. An historical pageant, art show, talent contest, games and contests, accordion jamborees, and Czech sing-a-longs are also on the agenda.

The highlight of the festival is the national Czech/Slovak Queen pageant that brings Czech queens from several Czech heritage states to vie for the title of national queen.

The once vacant Hotel Wilber restored by Berggren Architects that is now up and running.

Jerry Berggren handing out candy during his participation in the Czech parade.

Leroy Svatora with one of his many fans at the parade.

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