I’m not sure if anything is more Americana than small town festivals. The residents of Wilber, Nebraska, know how to put on a festival…and a parade. We recently visited Wilber during Czech Days. It was a fun few hours in town and we saw quite a bit.
We visited Wilber with our friends Steve and Ann Teget, from the travel blog www.postcardjar.com. They have a fantastic blog, so if you haven’t done so yet, visit it and make it one of your favorites (along with ours, of course). The Tegets live in nearby Crete, so they graciously offered to be our hosts for the Wilber visit.
Hundreds of people lined the main street in time for the two-hour parade. Fire trucks, floats, Czech marching bands and Czech queens from around the United States (so many Czech queens) highlighted the parade.
If you’re unsure who to vote for in the presidential race, your candidate may likely be Les Vilda of the B.E.E.R. Party. He drove his antique vehicle along the parade route campaigning. It was one of many highlights.
But, Wilber is more than a good time on the first weekend in August. The small rural town of about 1,800 displays its Czech heritage on a daily basis. It’s home to the Czech Museum, which documents early Czech life in Nebraska. The museum’s exhibits include traditional clothing and room displays.
The main street’s buildings are painted in traditional Czech colors. It gives visitors the feel like they’re visiting a Czech town. Polka music blares from loudspeakers along the street. This is actually the second town we’ve visited where music is played publicly along the main street.
Interested in staying overnight in Wilber? Check out the Hotel Wilber. The hotel – built in 1895 – is now a bed and breakfast. It’s a beautiful building with interesting décor.
Oh, but I do believe it may cost a little more to stay now than it did back in the day when a guest could get a room for $2.50 a night. And real running water.
A beautiful mural featuring the history and heritage of Wilber fills a large wall outside of Barnas Drug Store.
The Tegets suggested we try a sausage while we were in town, so the four of us headed over to Frank’s Smokehouse. Our group tried Polish sausages and hot dogs. They were delicious. The sausage was handmade inside the market. Earlier in the day, people stood in line for a sausage or kolache (fruit-filled pastry).
We enjoyed our day in Wilber. The Czech Days celebration helped fuel the excitement of the people attending. However, I believe Wilber would be an interesting visit anytime of the year. Lisa and I both recommend visiting Wilber, which is about 36 miles southwest of Lincoln.
For more information on Wilber and its attractions, please visit www.wilberchamberofcommerce.com.