Did you know that the 2013 Wilber National Czech Festival begins this Thursday August 1st? So, all week I will be featuring stories about Czechs and their cultural contributions to Nebraska. The town of Wilber is worth exploring.
In 2010-2011, our family traveled around the globe to over 40 countries. If you have gathered from previous entries that we are a homeschool family, you would know that most of our exploring took place in our kitchen and in our living room. Since I wanted to immerse my family in the countries we had chosen to study, we learned by coloring famous places (like Machu Pichu), ate a meal for each country (like lingonberry meatballs and oostakaka), read folklore (like Grimm’s fairy tales) and enjoyed finding out about the world. As I picked the countries to emphasize on each continent, I knew that I definitely wanted to make a stop in each country that represented our personal cultural heritage.
Since some of my husband’s relatives had emigrated from Czechoslovakia, studying the Czech Republic was a way that we could celebrate part of my heritage. The town of Wilber, Nebraska celebrates Czech Days every August. That summer I called the Chamber of Commerce to inquire about the festival. When the lady discovered that our kids were 1,3,5 and 7 at the time, she suggested that we come spend a full day in Wilber later in the fall. Evidently Czech days are a bit hectic for little kids. So we decided to venture to Wilber when we would be actually studying the Czech Republic. Thishappened to be the week of my birthday.
My birthday was on a Wednesday that week – my Dad’s day out of the office. So, I convinced my husband to take that day off as well. We invited both of our sets of parents to join us for “A Day to Remember in Wilber”. A beautifully sunny, comfortably cool, fall day awaited us.
Our morning in the town of Wilber
Our day began with breakfast at the beautiful 1895 Hotel Wilber. Starting out your morning with fresh kolaches is always a good thing! (More on these tasty treats later this week!) Then we proceeded to take a walking tour of the town. We learned more about Wilber than we ever thought that we would know. The town is really quite lovely with several different businesses (and bakeries!) Our guide for the day even wore her festive Czech dress.
After walking around town and exploring businesses in the morning, we went back to Hotel Wilber for a delicious dinner. Since they did not happen to have any guests in the middle of the week, we also were able to take a tour of the hotel.
Our afternoon in the town of Wilber
After our hotel tour, we went to another place or two. Finally we ended up at the Czech Museum. For a smaller community, they have amassed a wonderful collection of historical treasures. Several “rooms” were set up to display the items in historical context. This was an enjoyable museum to explore. I could have spent a lot more time in the museum, When you are traveling with littler ones, at a certain point you just know that the experience needs to end. So, about mid-afternoon, our “day” in Wilber came to a close.
What I enjoyed the most was getting to enjoy a leisurely day with those I loved the most! (And a later supper that included my sister & brother completed that togetherness!) Since we had planned on spending the day there, we were not on a tight schedule. My birthday unfolded in a charming way. This turned out to be one of my favorite birthdays ever! I hope we can repeat this town of Wilber outing when we “go” around the world again a few years.
As you may have noticed in the information in the above box, they do still give tours. You can visit the Wilber Chamber of Commerce website for more details. The majority of the town of Wilber tours are for adults. This is why the childrens’ prices for the meals & everything might be slightly negotiable, depending on the size and eating capabilities of your child! 🙂