It’s two days after St. Patrick’s Day and what do you have planned? Perhaps your tongue has returned to it’s natural color from the tint of green after consuming some heavily dyed adult beverages. You may be combing the world of Pinterest looking up ideas for corned beef leftovers. When you get it all figured out, you’ll see that the calendar has reached March 19th and there is yet another Saint’s Day that calls for your consideration. Let the fine citizens of Cedar Rapids pull you in for an extension on your mid March schedule of events and get the red garments on for Saint Joseph’s Day!
You must do as the locals do at times and take in what they are offering. Today, it was all about their annual celebration of the their rich heritage. Cedar Rapids is known for its proud blue collar and rich traditions that attracted legions of Czech, Slovak, and Bohemian immigrants that melted in with the city and its multitude of cultures. So its only natural that they honor Saint Joseph the Worker with a mass celebration. The old country would be proud…
We found a great spot in the middle of the Czech Village for the annual parade and watched the red fill up the neighborhood. Cedar Rapids is known for having one of the largest Czech heritage populations in the world outside of Prague.
We walked up and down the Czech Village and whoops wouldn’t you know it….we found some places to eat and unwind.
For lunch, we strayed from the Czech Village to see what other pockets of the city was up to on this day. Luckily for us, and our lunch needs, Cedar Rapids was cooking up Czech fare all over the city. We settled in to the Longbranch Hotel and made a dent in their St. Joe’s Day buffet.
A dumpling here, a ladle of goulash there, a touch of roast, a liberal scoop of sauerkraut, and the flavor of caraway…..take me away. Czech fare is hearty, loaded with central European flavors, and here it’s given that famous Iowa touch. Lucky for us, Cedar Rapids isn’t too far away from our Hills, IA, headquarters. We’re able to enjoy their historic neighborhoods and restaurants with ease and partake in CR’s army of events it schedules all year. For a special nod to the amazing heritage of the Czech Village, St. Joe’s day is a fine tradition in this great city to participate in and welcomes anyone who wants to be Czech for the day. Have a beer with the locals, break bread with a kolache, and put kraut on EVERYTHING!
Thanks for reading! -Team Goodvin