Sunday, April 29, 2012

It's More Than Just a Crown...

Yesterday, Saturday, April 28, 2012, the Czech Heritage Society of Texas crowned the new state queen. The pageant included all the pageantry any girl would want. Music. Master of Ceremonies. Lots of photo ops. Grand entrance. Czech crystal and many gifts for the winners. Applause. Beautifully embroidered sash. And a crown that would make any little girl's eyes twinkle.
But, by far, the best thing was to see the families together. Three (or possibly more) generations together. You see, leading up to the pageant, the young girls learn from parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles about Czech customs, traditions, recipes, kroje and language. THAT is what the Czech Slovak Queen pageants are all about. Not the fanfare that surrounds crowning the new queen but the younger generation learning all about their heritage. Some families live their Czech culture every day, others are more removed from it. In all cases, the youth will learn how their ancestors sacrificed, struggled and then celebrated in the new land we now call home.
At the Miss Texas Czech Slovak Queen Pageant yesterday, the contestants entered under a traditional canopy. They competed in four categories: personal interview, on-stage interview, kroj modeling and talent. Master of Ceremonies, Joe Janecka, introduced the panel of judges: Kristin Blair (former Miss Texas); Victor Havel and Angela Young (former Miss Czech Slovak USA). Caitlin Orsak of LaVaca County was named the 2012 Miss Texas Czech-Slovak Queen and will compete in Wilber, Nebraska. Good luck Caitlin!
The Pageant Committee spends weeks preparing for the day. Collecting prizes for the contestants. Decorations. And much more. Many thanks to committee members: Kathy Podsednik, Marianne Beran, Lee Colwell, Janis Hrncir, Helen Mikus, Evelyn Skopik and Jana Vaculik. This year the McLennan-Hill Chapter (our local chapter) hosted the event at the Knights of Columbus Hall in West, Texas. The day included a delicious meal, silent auction, traveling library, state meeting, sales booth of Czech costume designer Maggie Grmela and entertainment. The day ended with the Queen's Ball with music by the Czechaholics.

Each contestant had set up their own personal display. Some of the items included in the displays were: pictures in their kroj, trophies, Czech dolls, family heirlooms/photos and genealogy. THIS is what the day is all about. When my daughter got interested in the Czech Queen pageant, she began asking questions. She knew she was Czech but "tell me more." She (and all of these girls) learn their family Czech sir names, when and how their ancestors immigrated to America, what they wore (everyday and at special occasions), recipes, music and how they survived.

"May the love of one's heritage never fade, dim, nor die; for the future of tomorrow depends on how much you are willing to do for your past, today."...Sarah Middlebrook (2006 Miss Czech-Slovak USA Queen)

More photos from the 2012 Miss Texas Czech-Slovak Queen pageant are available at: For more information on the Miss Czech-Slovak Queen Pageant, log on to:

No comments: