A big Cedar Rapids Festival is coming up this month!

Later this May, the Czech Village Association will put on the 45th annual Houby Days Festival over in the Czech Village. The celebration will take place the weekend of May 19th through May 21st.

If you're not familiar with Houby Days, the first thing you should know is that the event is centered around mushrooms. "Houby" is actually the Czech word for mushrooms! The Czech Village website reads:

"Hunting them is a major activity of the Czechs and Slovaks and they gather them by the basket full.  There are many varieties that are eaten and as the Czech’s are fond of saying, 'All mushrooms are edible, at least once!'  They are gathered from early in the spring until late in the fall and the woods are always full of mushroom pickers.  It is a family activity, so children usually know by the time they are 10 years old which mushrooms to pick and which mushrooms not to touch. On a beautiful summer day, the woods will be full of families, walking, talking and gathering mushrooms."

Beth MacDonald, Unsplash
Beth MacDonald, Unsplash

There won't be any mushroom gathering at Houby Days in Cedar Rapids, but there will be lots for sale! And there are a ton of other fun activities for Iowans of all ages. The event will feature multiple stages for live music, food vendors, craft vendors, and more! Here are some of the big activities on the schedule:

  • Parade
    • Saturday, May 20th at 10 a.m.
  • Cabbage Roll by Sykora Bakery
    • Saturday, May 20th at 12 p.m.
    • Sunday, May 21st at 12 p.m.
  • Car Show
    • Saturday, May 20th from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Located at the Red Cedar Advisory parking lot
  • Crowing of the Royal Court
    • Saturday, May 20th at 1 p.m.
  • Kolache Eating Contest
    • Saturday, May 20th at 3 p.m.
  • Fun Run to Mt. Trashmore
    • Sunday, May 21st at 9:30 a.m.
Czech Village Association, Facebook
Czech Village Association, Facebook

Something new that will be happening at Houby Days this year is a Balloon Glow! Hot air balloons will lights up the night beginning at dusk on Saturday the 20th. They will be located "in the greenspace to the south of the Village (where the houses were taken down after the flood)," as long as the weather cooperates.

The official hours for Houby Days 2023 are:

  • Friday, May 19th from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 20th from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 21st from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

You can check out a full schedule of Houby Day events HERE.

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