What is a Kolacky?
For most Montgomery-area residents, the kolacky is a well-known treat.
Others, however, might wonder about the locally-famous pastry.
A kolacky is a small dinner roll-like pastry which is folded, enclosing filling in the center.
The most common fillings include prune, poppyseed, apricot, apple, blueberry and raspberry.
According to Butch Franke, the late owner of Franke's Bakery in Montgomery, both open-faced and closed-face kolackys were made in Czechoslovakia.
Franke said the closed kolacky came into being because the fruit in the open-faced buns would get all over the working man's lunch bucket. The men had their wives fold over the pastry so it wouldn't mess up the other things in the lunch bucket.
Kolacky Day enjoys a rich history
The festival dates back to 1929, when an estimated 6,000 people visited Montgomery for the first Kolacky Day celebration, held Tuesday, October, 1, 1929.
"The Kolacky Day spirit reigned supreme from early Tuesday morning until a comparatively late hour Wednesday morning. More than 1,600 of the celebrated delicacies were devoured," according to a Montgomery Messenger account from the following week.
Events at the first celebration included a trap shooting tournament, a parade, sports and races and a football game between Montgomery and Le Sueur Center (now Le Center).
In 1931 Miss Leatta Ehmke, (Mrs. Joe Trnka) was crowned the first Kolacky Queen by Mayor Henry Westerman. Her attendants were Ella Krocak, Sylvia Zelenka, Anna Zelenka and Berniece Malone.
For the September 30, 1934, celebration a novel button, sold by the Kolacky girls, was devised.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Kolacky Day retreated to the background until the Montgomery Community Club decided to revive the celebration in 1948.
Kolacky Day officially became a summer festival in 1966 when the traditional date, the last Sunday in September, was dropped in favor of the first weekend in August. The earlier date and warmer weather brought huge crowds to the festival.
In 1975, Kolacky Day became Kolacky Days and the event was held for the first time at the end of July. The move to July was done at the urging of the Green Giant vegetable canning company in order to avoid conflict with the busy corn processing season.
Kolacky Days named
"The term 'Kolacky Day' may not mean much to people at a distance who are not familiar with the name, but if they ever attended of our celebrations and filled up on that famous Bohemian delicacy they will join the pilgrimage to this city each year hereafter."
P.J. and J.F. Keohen, late editors, Montgomery Messenger
Peter Keohen is given credit for giving the festival Kolacky Days its name.
Every spring since 1958, the MACC announces they are seeking nominations for the Kolacky Days Grand Marshal. These individuals have played a significant role in the development and success of the Montgomery Area. Congratulations to all our Grand Marshals!
- 1953 - Sgt. Leslie White
- 1958 - Matej David
- 1959 - Carl Fischer
- 1960 - Dr. Fred Westerman
- 1961- F.J. Turek
- 1962 - P.X. Kennedy
- 1963 - Emma Mladek & Lil Charles
- 1964 - Emil & Mary Franke
- 1965 - Queen of Snows Carla August & Grandfather August Augst
- 1966 - Elmer Westerman
- 1967 - Judge Frank M. Turek
- 1968 - Joe G. Hruby
- 1969 - Richard Mikiska
- 1970 - Linus & Mary Ulbricht
- 1971 - Jim Zelenka
- 1972 - George & Ceil Feipel
- 1973 - Dr. Henry Kucera
- 1974 - Mrs. Joe (Leatta) Trnka
- 1975 - Helen C. Keohen
- 1976 - Ronald Novotny
- 1977 - Frank & Ella Wisdorf
- 1978 - Milton & Helen Bentley
- 1979 - W.J. & Al Krenik
- 1980 - Don & Rose Sweeney
- 1981 - John & Margaret Ziska
- 1982 - Ed & Eleanor Berninghaus
- 1983 - C.J. & Helen Korbel
- 1984 - Lloyd & Helen Richter
- 1985 - Joe & Franny Kohout
- 1986 - Babe Sery
- 1987 - Jerry & Mary Ann Ruhland
- 1988- Ed & Dorothy Herman
- 1989 - Al & Rita Vlasak
- 1990 - Elroy & Armella Mladek
- 1991 - Blanche Zellmer
- 1992 - Glen & Marge Flicek
- 1993 - Mike & Ramona McGuire
- 1994 - Glenn & Tatty Malone
- 1995 - Butch & Jule Franke
- 1996 - Emmanuel & Betty Vikla
- 1997 - Jerome & Noreen Schleis
- 1998 - Lorraine "Tiny" Dvorak
- 1999 - Clarence & Dorothy Hruby
- 2000 - Jerry & Cathy Herrmann
- 2001 - Andy & Mary Regenscheid
- 2002 - Larry & Karen Parsons
- 2003 - Emma Pomije
- 2004 - Leonard &Joan Ouradnik
- 2005 - Jerry & Lorraine David
- 2006 - Chuck & Berneice Kasper
- 2007 - Ed & Mary Blumhoefer
- 2008 - Roger & Mary Ann Heyda
- 2009 - Ralph & Doris Hendrickson
- 2010 - Berlyn & Garie Teig
- 2011 - John Grimm
- 2012 - Bill & Cheryl Marek
- 2013 - Dave & Mary King
- 2014 - Ruhland Family: Gary and Linda, Dale, Bob and Jan Ruhland, and Ken and Mary Ruhland Tupy
- 2015 - Steve & Bonnie Flicek
- 2016 - Bob & Barb Rotter
- 2017 - Bob & Lisbeth Janovsky
- 2018 - Jake (John) & Kay Keohen
Collectible Button Collection
Since 1934, the Kolacky Days Button has been a mainstay. Czech out how the collectible button has changed throughout the years!