HISTORY OF ROYALTY
The Kolache Festival has included a Kolache Queen since the first festival in 1951. Over the years, the process to select a Kolache Queen has changed, but the tradition continues.
The first Queen was Kathryn Walenta Blocker. In the 50’s, the winner was determined by the one with the highest total of penny count votes collected from jars placed all over town or collected by the candidate. Each candidate was sponsored by a local business, wore a very simple, but beautiful kroj, and had the honor of riding in the Kolache Festival parade.
The 60’s and 70’s provided a change in the selection of the Kolache Queen. The first pageant was held where candidates participated in an interview, modeled their kroj and performed a talent. The winner was presented with a large trophy and crown.
In the 1980’s, the pageant program continued and any Prague Kolache Queen who was of Czechoslovakia decent competed in the National Miss Czech Slovak Pageant in Wilber, Nebraska. This opportunity led to Prague’s first National Queen, Stephanie Goodnight Lee who represented our community as the 1991 Miss Czech-Slovak USA.
1993 the Kolache Royalty grew to include a Kolache Prince and Princess and 2000 saw the addition of a Junior Queen. The 2000’s also brought an increase in the Queen to $1,000 and expanded the duties of the Kolache Royalty to include appearances on Oklahoma television and radio stations to promote the Kolache Festival.
The 2011 Kolache Queen and 2016-17 Oklahoma Czech Queen Madeline Hecker was crowned Miss Czech Slovak US 2017-18, becoming the second National Queen from Prague.
Currently, the Kolache Festival Queen’s prize package includes a $1,500 college scholarship, and all royalty receive gift baskets, travel funds, crown, sash, flowers and a year filled with lots of fun as they represent Prague and its Czech heritage.
Over the years, there were many changes but the heart of the festival is the same. We are very proud of the youth in our community and their desire to spread the traditions and culture of our Czech heritage.