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CITY OF LINCOLN   •   NEWS RELEASE   •   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date:
December 6, 2002
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Colette Duffek, Ne. Czechs of Lincoln, 435-0136

Mayor's Holiday Tree Features Czech Heritage

Mayor Don Wesely’s holiday tree featuring traditional Czechoslovakian ornaments will be on display outside the Mayor’s Office beginning Monday, December 9. The Mayor asked local Czech organizations to decorate his tree for the Heritage League’s annual “Holiday of Trees” event December 5 and 6 at Lincoln’s Unitarian Church. Rebecca Hamata, the Nebraska State Czech Queen, will present the tree to Mayor Wesely at 10 a .m. Monday just outside the Mayor’s Office on the second floor of the County-City Building, 555 South 10th Street.

"We are honored that the Mayor has asked the Czech community to help celebrate his and all citizens of Czechoslovakian heritage with this Christmas tree," said Hamata, a UNL student from Schuyler.

The Czech organizations contributing to ideas and decorations for the tree are:
  • Nebraska Czechs of Lincoln
  • Nebraska Czechs of Wilber
  • SVU Chapter (Czech Societies of Arts and Science)
  • Nebraska Czechs Inc.
  • Czech Language Foundation
  • Komensky Club
  • Students from the Czech Republic

"The holidays have a special significance for the Wesely family," said the Mayor. "Our original family name is ‘Veseli,’ which means ‘Merry,’ so ‘Veseli Vanoce’ is ‘Merry Christmas’ in Czech. Members of the local Czech organizations have done such a beautiful job of decorating this special tree, and their efforts are greatly appreciated."

The traditional ornaments include dried fruits, decorated nut shells, decorated ginger and honey cookies ("medoviniky"), homemade stars and holiday items crocheted or made of straw. Some of the decorations on the tree are heirlooms passed down through the families.

The tree will be on display until the first of the year during regular business hours.

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