We at The Better Life tend to spend most of our time exploring all the great things to do in the immediate Oklahoma City area but it’s always fun to venture out a bit and explore the area’s sites and history. Last week we took you on a trip west of the metro. This week, we’re going to explore to the east, starting with Prague, so here is a rundown, ready for you to Czech out.
OK, so that phrase is a little corny and cliché, but it’s true. Like Yukon, the community is home to many Oklahomans with Czech heritage, even if they pronounce the town’s name with a long “a” instead of like a short “o” as they do in the Czech Republic’s capital in Europe. Make plans now to attend the town’s annual Kolache Festival, held in May, and see the Czechs in action – with food, dance, music and more.
Prague developed after the Land Run of 1891 opened the Sac and Fox Reservation for settlement and a mother and her son settled there from Austria, according to the city’s website. Its formal beginning as a town named Prague dates back to 1902. Read more online there, but moving into the present, there’s plenty to do and see.
First, visit Prague City Lake, a 400-acre lake that includes a boat ramp, boat docks, picnic areas, volleyball court and playground. For hours and usage fees, go online. It is surrounded by the Prague Lake Trail, which features 30 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails, although you have to bring your own horse.
The Prague Historical Museum tells the history of Czech pioneers who founded Prague in 1902 through interpretive exhibits, artifacts and early-day business displays. A portion of the museum also features memorabilia from Olympic athlete and Prague native Jim Thorpe. His birthplace is also marked at the Jim Thorpe Birth Site, 8601 NBU, where he was born on May 2, 1887.
And those who are Catholic or seeking answers to prayers can visit the National Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church. Nearly 70 years ago, a statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague (a replica of a 16th-century one) arrived at the church, and many believers have felt their prayers to the Infant Jesus answered there ever since. Thousands of people visit the shrine each year. Read more about the church’s history dating back to 1899 and that of the shrine. Or visit yourself.