Queen's Blog

Queen Drew Hejna

Hello everyone, my name is Drew Hejna, and your 2022-2023 Tabor Czech Days Queen. On top of my title, I am honored to have been awarded the oratory and onstage interview, heritage and community involvement, and kroj awards.

My Prince Colin Kubal and Princess Elsie Pavel are alongside me on my court. Colin's favorite color is red, and he is most excited about our visit to South Dakota's State Capitol. Elsie's favorite color is pink, and she loves to go on vacation!

I am the daughter of Andrew and Erin Hejna; I have two siblings, one older brother Anton, and one younger sister Reese. Just this past May, I graduated from Bon Homme High School. In the Fall, I will attend the University of South Dakota to major in kinesiology and sports medicine.

One of my goals for this coming year is to share my journey and experiences on this platform as the current reigning Tabor Czech Days Queen. In this blog, I hope to include my travels and various Czech traditions I implement in my daily life!

Where will Queen Drew be next?

Keep checking back for more of Queen Drew's Adventures!

Queen Drew's Czech Name Day October 11th and other parades

Ahoj! I bet you've noticed I have never used this very common phrase that translates to "hello" before. In the Czech Republic, the phrase "ahoj" is reserved for informal greetings; "ahoj" should only be used if you are very familiar with that person. But since I've been around for a while now, I think it is fitting.

Outside of Czech festivals, I have been very busy with local parades. So far, I have attended; Scotland Rodeo Days, Riverboat Days, and Wagner Labor Day. I have also been implementing aspects of the Czech culture into my daily life. On October 11, I celebrated my name day! According to this tradition, each day of the year, with the exception of national holidays, corresponds to a personal name. In recent times, if you cannot find your exact name on the calendar, people have chosen to use a derivate of a name that appears on the calendar or something similar. I have decided to celebrate "Andrej," with translates to Andrew, because I am named after my father. Name Day is just another day to celebrate you! Individuals often celebrate with a small gift. I celebrated with an apricot kolache! I have linked the website so you can find yours and your loved one's name day!

http://www.myczechrepublic.com/czech_culture/czech_name_days/



October 1st, 2022 -Yukon Czech Day

Happy Czech heritage month! I started celebrating my Czech heritage on October 1st by traveling 587 miles to Yukon, Oklahoma. There, I attended Yukon’s one-day Czech event. I started the fun-filled day by taking part in one of Oklahoma’s largest parades. Myself and other visiting royalty were driven by the generous members of Yukon’s Jeep club. It was so lovely seeing the other queens and catching up again one last time as the festival season comes to a close! Throughout the rest of the afternoon, I enjoyed delicious food, watched authentic dances, and enjoyed a few polkas myself. Something I particularly enjoyed is the different styles of brightly colored authentic kroje. Hopefully, one day I can have my own authentic costume! Later, I watched the crowing of Oklahoma’s state queen and the rest of her court. Jayden was lovely to meet, and I look forward to seeing her again! We attended the coronation ball to close the festival and polka the night away.

I had a fantastic day and Yukon and am grateful for the wonderful hospitality!



August 5-7th Wilber, NE

On the first weekend of August, I had the opportunity to travel to the Czech Capitol of the World; Wilber Nebraska!

The festivities started with a presentation given by Kim Znamenacek about sewing of traditional kroje and visiting various museums about kroje. I found this particularly fascinating as I am working on a new kroj! I then got to partake in bandstand introductions with the visiting royalty. Following this, we all attended the queen's reception, where I got to know many of the 2022-2023 visiting royalty. I can't wait to spend more time with these wonderful ladies over the next year! Afterward, I rode through both parades in our family's Roadster, waving to everyone! The Wilber Czech Festival also hosts the Miss Czech-Slovak US Pageant, and I watched our very own Miss Camille Sykora compete for the national title. She did an excellent job representing our community and walked away with the Spirit Award! I do not doubt that the national court will do amazing things this year!

I had such a wonderful time in Wilber celebrating our Czech heritage and I cannot wait to be back representing our state in 2023!

~ Queen Drew

July 24th Montgomery, MN

On Sunday, July 24th, I traveled to Montgomery, Minnesota, the "Kolacky Capital of the World", to celebrate our Czech heritage. I started my trip off by attending the Queen's Brunch. There, I met many of the young women who represent the state of Minnesota, including the current Miss Czech-Slovak Minnesota, Marisa DeVito-Winget. I also say Sarah Holicky, Miss Czech-Slovak Minnesota 1st Princess, whom I met earlier this year. It is wonderful to speak with other young women who share a similar passion for representing their community. After, I rode through their huge parade with my fantastic drive, Andy. I then went to Memorial Park, where I toured their historic settler's log cabin, watched the beautiful St. Paul Czech and Slovak Dancers and the Kolacky Eating Contest. To wrap up my day, I enjoyed the jitrnice meal along with the infamous kolacky. I had such a wonderful time in Montgomery and am so thankful for their hospitality. I can't wait to go back in 2023!

July 16th, 2022- Viborg, SD

On July 16th, we celebrated Danish culture and shared our Czech heritage with the people of Viborg, SD. We rode through a fun and interactive parade, waving to all. After, I visited the Daneville Heritage Museum, where I was met with an impressive collection of Danish artifacts. My favorite exhibit was the traditional Danish dress. I found it interesting that the Danish folk dress has many aspects that are similar and different to our kroj. While visiting the museum, I got to vote on their apron decorating contest. There were many hand-embroidered aprons that all deserved to win! In addition, I was gifted a beautiful ceramic pin from the museum, which can be found on my sash. After, I tasted some Danish delicacies, I tried rolepolse for the first time! It is a traditional Danish cold-cut sandwich with a piece of pork belly that is flattened out and spread with different herbs and seasonings. And of course, I had it with a Danish dessert. I truly enjoyed my time in Viborg celebrating the Danish culture! Až příště!

Till next time!

~Queen Drew

July 4th, 2022-Menno, SD

Since my crowning, my royal court and I have attended one parade in Menno, SD to celebrate Independence Day! The 4th was filled with great pride for our wonderful country. We are honored to represent the Tabor Community and cannot wait for the opportunities this year holds for us! Až příště!

Till next time!

~Queen Drew