ROYALTY: Cecilia Minchow (left) smiles from the stage, after being crowned Prague Czech queen Aug. 10. She had previously served as Czech princess and now carries on the family tradition of wearing the queen’s crown. (Staff Photo by Suzi Nelson)

PRAGUE – Cecilia Minchow is pretty excited.

“I am bouncing off the walls I am so excited,” she said about being crowned Prague Czech Queen Aug. 10.

Not only is she excited, she is ready to represent.

She said she is looking forward to an appearance at Nebraska State Fair. There will be a queen meet and greet and a parade to take part in.

Minchow will also be participating in the upcoming York Czech Festival and plans to attend Language Day at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

But, the new queen knows there is more to being a Czech queen that just making an appearance.

Minchow is the daughter of Todd and Laura Minchow of Lincoln. She is the granddaughter of Ron and Susan Minchow of Milford and Gladys and the late Adolph Nemec of Prague.

She is quick to point out that it was her grandpa Nemec who started the Prague Czech Chapter. And, she has had other members of her family serve as local, state and national Czech queens.

Minchow herself served as Prague Czech princess when her cousin served as queen in 2012-2013.

“I don’t think I realized how important heritage was until I started diving into it myself when I was Czech princess,” she said.

Now, she finds that so much of what she enjoys is a part of that heritage. Be it food, dancing, music or other activity, there is something tied to her heritage.

“That’s just what I enjoy. It’s been so much a big part of me and this is what I want to share,” she added.

Minchow has her own unique take on how she wants to share to share it too.

“Everybody talks about preserving the heritage, and that is obviously a part of it,” she said. “For me, I am definitely focusing on how our heritage can connect the generations.”

At a dance, she said for example, you see a grandma dancing with her grandson. Or at another occasion, you may find a grandfather playing cards with his grandchildren.

Minchow wants to emphasize those connections and the power that heritage can have in building relationships.

The new Czech queen still has some work to do though. One of the tasks in the near future will be to make her kroj (Czech costume).

“We still have some refining to do,” she said about that.

She has picked out some of the fabric she wants to use in her dress and will be enlisting the help of both of her grandmothers, as well as other family members, to get it all put together.

“It’s a big family project,” she added.

Minchow will be wearing an Americanized kroj, as compared to an authentic kroj.

But, she is really excited to see it finished as she said it will incorporate both her faith and her family.

Once the dress is done, she will need to work on her talent too. She said she is still finding the right song to sing for next summer’s state Czech-Slovak queen pageant.

This will all need to take place while she is focusing on her school work. Minchow is in her sophomore year at Concordia University in Seward. She is majoring in psychology and behavioral science and minoring in music and business. She said she hopes someday to be a high school guidance counselor or a counselor of some kind at a college.

For right now though, she is happy to counsel others about her heritage.

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