Montgomery, Minnesota

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Montgomery is a city in Le Sueur County, Minnesota, in the United States, 45 miles south of Minneapolis. It was named after Richard Montgomery, an Irish-American soldier who served as a major general in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. The population was 2,794 at the 2000 census.

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Community

This rural community can be characterized by its Czechoslovakian heritage. The original settlement was by Czech and German immigrants who brought their traditions and customs to the rural landscape of the Montgomery area around 1856-1860.

The Torch Light Parade and fireworks are held every year near the end of November.

Montgomery is also home to Big Honza's Museum of Unnatrual History.

Kolacky Days Festival

Annually, Montgomery celebrates their Czechoslovakian heritage at the end of July with one of Minnesota's oldest festivals, Kolacky Days.

The festival dates back to 1929, when an estimated 6,000 people visited Montgomery for the first Kolacky Day celebration, held on October 1.

"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 1934 celebration, a novelty button, sold by the Kolacky girls, was devised and is still in use today.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Kolacky Day retreated to the background until the Montgomery Community Club revived the celebration in 1948.

Kolacky Days 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. Currently, the festival is celebrated the fourth full weekend in July.[3]

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