Like the John C. Fremont Days festival in Fremont, the Fourth of July celebration in Hooper and Dodge Days in Dodge, many area towns are hosting annual summer festivals.
Farther west on Nebraska Highway 91, Clarkson is no exception.
The 39th Annual Czech Festival will take place in Clarkson this weekend.
The annual event will begin at 7 tonight with a rodeo. Another rodeo is scheduled for Thursday night by Clarkson Midstates Rodeo from 7:30 to 10 p.m., both in the Clarkson Rodeo Arena.
On Friday, festivities begin with a pork barbecue from 5-8 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., the opening concert by Clarkson Community Band will begin.
At 6 p.m., Rainbow Amusements on the Midway will open and at 6:30 p.m. a talent contest will begin. Contestants compete in four divisions: ages 6 and under, ages 7 to 10, ages 11 to 14 and ages 15 and older.
Toward the end of Friday evening, another rodeo will begin a 7:30 p.m. by Clarkson Midstates Rodeo, food stands will open at 8 p.m. and the "Side Step" country band will play in the beer garden at 9 p.m.
On Saturday, a three-on-three basketball tournament starts at 9 a.m., Czech pork dinners will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., GFWC Woman's Club Arts Fair and Czech cooking demonstrations are from noon to 4 p.m. and food stands open at noon.
Entertainment is planned from 1-4 p.m. at Memorial Park. It includes the Czech National Anthem and American National Anthem being sung, the presentation of state queen candidates and state queen and the Children's Beseda, all starting at 1 p.m.
Rainbow Amusements open at 2 p.m. Registration for the kid's tractor pull is at 1 p.m., Czech music with food stands and beer garden begins at 1:30 p.m. The Clarkson Community Band plays at 1:45 p.m. and the alumni reunion is at 2 p.m. "Magic with a Czech Flair" starts at 2 p.m. and Butler County Czech youth singers perform at 2:45 p.m.
Entertainment at the Pine Street Stage includes Button Key Accordion Concert at 5:30 p.m. and Children's Beseda and Clarkson Czech Dancers at 6 p.m.
Cesky Krajan and/or Cesky Krajanka is at 6:55 p.m., the Nebraska State Czech Queen Pageant is at 7 p.m. and music ends the day with a free polka dance is at 8 p.m. at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Opera House and Mark Vyhlidal Orchestra in the beer garden at 9 p.m.
On Sunday, there is Coffee and Kolace from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. at the New Zion Presbyterian Church. Czech dinners will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. John Neumann school.
GFWC Woman's Club Arts Fair and Czech cooking demonstrations are from noon to 4 p.m., food stands open at noon and the Rainbow Amusements open at 2 p.m.
Area Czech queens will be presented at 1:10 p.m., Children's Beseda Dancers are scheduled at 1:30 p.m., and a Taroks tournament starts at 1:30 p.m. at Brass Rail party room. Capital City Choraliers will sing at 2 p.m., a youth water fight starts at 2:30 and a street parade begins at 5 p.m.
More music and dances are scheduled after the parade at the Pine Street Stage.
Martin Kluthe, festival chairman, said preparations for the festival began last week with the local churches beginning to cook.
Kluthe said there are more than 30 entries for the talent show and the Czech food is like no other.
"Area churches put on dinners that are fantastic and too darn cheap," he said. "You just can't get a better deal."
He said the Clarkson Commercial Board members did not want to schedule anything too big because next year is the 40th annual and that will be the bigger celebration.