Czeching out Verdigre

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Snuggled in a hook in the winding Verdigre Creek, the quaint community of Verdigre takes a lot of pride in its Czech heritage. Boasting itself as the “Kolach Capital of the World”, Verdigre is not too humble about being the center of Kolach attention. Then again, if your town was so well known for this tasty Czechoslovakian treat, you would brag about it as well.

Czeching out the Good Stuff

By Chmee2 CC BY-SA 3.0 License, from Wikimedia Commons

Verdigre sits only 12 miles from the Missouri River in northeast Nebraska. It is blessed to be surrounded by great opportunities for fishing, hunting, and outdoor recreation. Amenities like Ashfall, Niobrara State Park, Winnetoon, Wilde Wood Acres Park, and the Bohemian Prairie wildlife management area provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.


Verdigre was one of the communities hardest hit by the 2019 floods. The town was inundated by the Niobrara River when the Spencer Dam broke, sending an 11-foot wall of water downstream and up the Verdigre Creek.

In July of that year, I wrote about how Verdigre was striving to rebuild. There were stories coming out of the community about the resiliency of the residents. But also about the cooperative efforts of businesses and organizations in helping Verdigre recover.

Although it has been a struggle, Verdigre has come back from the disaster that unfolded that March.

Kolach Days

But let’s get back to that delectable treat, the Kolach. So smitten are the residents of this town with the pastry, their town’s main annual festival is named Kolach Days. Each year the community hosts a parade, carnival, volleyball tournament, poker tournament, and of course, polka dancing! But how can you have Kolach Days without a Kolach eating contest? Of course, you can’t, Verdigre has one of those as well. I’d just stay away from eating too many kolaches with prunes in the middle during that event….

The full list of activities during Kolach Days is provided on the main landing page of the City’s website.

Sure, some may giggle that a community would revolve its annual celebration around a pastry. But think about it. How many communities in this country celebrate their German, Scandinavian, or Polish roots?….a bunch. How many communities celebrate the nearby commercial fishing, coal-mining, or farming employment activities that necessitated the development of the town?….quite a few more. At first glance, Kolach Days is essentially just another Czech heritage-centered celebration. But Verdigre has chosen to hone it in on the one thing that will make their celebration stand out. There’s one aspect that will cause a double-take for those interested in a quick weekend retreat that’s out of the norm. That one thing is a tasty pastry.

Go ahead Google “Kolach Days”, I think they cornered the market.

Of course, that wasn’t the intent when Kolach Days was first celebrated in Verdigre in 1939, but it does pique one’s interest. Kolach Days has even been selected as Nebraska’s Outstanding Event in 1999.

Enjoy Being Different

I’ve sat in several meetings over the years where a community compares itself to other towns. Communities that try to emulate certain aspects to make their own events better. That’s all well and good, for communities that only strive to be good. But it is the unique aspects that often create interest and make communities not just good, but great.