CLARKSON, Neb. — According to a 2022 report by the U.S. Census Bureau, Nebraska has one of the highest Czech populations in the country with almost 4 percent of the population tracing their heritage back to the country. 

Being one of those, longtime Clarkson resident Shirley Hamernik remembers learning how to sing in Czech as a child. 

“We would learn how to pronounce Czech,” Hamernik said. “We learned how to read the Czech language phonetically.” 

She and many Nebraskans will honor their heritage during Clarkson Czech Days this weekend. 

It's the 62nd Czech Festival featuring Czech heritage including food, clothing, and polka. 

Organizers with the event said the celebration of the cultural has grown with interest from the younger generation interested in learning about where their ancestors came from. 

“There’s so much history in this area for Czechs it just takes your breath away sometimes,” Chairman of the Czech Festival Rob Brabec said. 

Among events including a pageant and dancing, it gives a chance for people to experience how their ancestors celebrated decades ago. 

“Until the Czech festival was started back in the day, a lot of us didn’t appreciate. We took it for granted. We need to know our background,” Hamernik said. 

The festival kicks off in Clarkson on Friday and runs throughout the weekend.