Miss Czech-Slovak US 2023-2024
Destiny Hollingsworth
During her Miss Czech-Slovak US reign, Destiny had the opportunity to travel to the Czech and Slovak Republics. She visited numerous events, festivals, and historical sights in representation of the Czech and Slovak cultural communities in the United States. 

She began in Western Slovakian region of Trnava, specifically the town of Doľany, where her mother comes from. Here, she attended the town’s annual pilgrimage to a nearby church dedicated to Saint Leonard, who is the Patron Saint of the village Doľany, along with peasants, cattle, good births, and more. 

She then traveled to Western Czechia, where her journey began in Prague, the capital. While there, she toured the Old Town and Wenceslas Squares, even visiting the famous Orloj clock. After sight-seeing, Destiny was invited to participate in the annual Navalis celebration in honor of Saint Jan Nepomucký, which was organized by the owner of the Prazske Benatky agency, Zdenek Beran. The celebration began with the Archbishop’s blessing of the horses (along with the moravian riders and pilgrims), a very special mass in the St. Vitus cathedral, and a procession from the Cathedral, through the Charles Bridge. The second part of this celebration included the landing of parachutes onto the Vltava River, a classical orchestra concert, delicious foods, and more!

Her next stop was in Kunovice, Morava for the famous Ride of the Kings. This is a bi-annual tradition since 1897, during which a young boy (who is approved as king) rides a horse and is disguised in a women’s kroj. The celebration spans throughout the weekend, with a special king presentation, approval, horse preparation, procession, dinner, and a festival in honor of the tradition. As a representative of West, Texas ( the sister city of Kunovice), Destiny was entirely hosted by the town, not just on this visit, but also during her trip to Prague. Her tour guides throughout Czechia were former mayor of Kunovice, Ivana Majičkova, and her husband Petr Majiček.

Her 4th stop was the East part of Slovakia, where she toured Michalovce, Slovakia. Here, she visited the National Cultural and Scientific Institution of Slovakia, known as Matica Slovenská, learned to decorate Perníčky, interviewed with TV Mistral, visited a local artist’s art gallery, saw the Viniansky Castle, participated in a Jurošík folk ensemble dance class, and met with the Mayor and vice mayors of Michalovce. She also stopped at the Museum Kasigarda in Ťahyňa, Slovakia. This is a museum of Slovak emigration from Slovakia to North America. On her way out of Michalovce, Destiny was invited to her tour guide, Director of Matica Slovenská Michalovce Headquarters- Karin Obšatníkova’s Restaurant, U Štefánika. Her stay was at the beautiful ANIMA resort. Before leaving the East of Slovakia, she visited the country’s second largest city, Košice, where she saw the St. Elisabeth Cathedral, and the magical singing fountain. 

After Eastern Slovakia, Destiny traveled to the North of Slovakia to visit her cousin’s farm business. She interviewed the owners (Destiny’s cousin and his wife), Matko and Lenka Matuškovi. They showed her the process of running their business, including milking the goats, pasteurizing milk, making cheese, and packaging products. 

While in Northern Slovakia, Destiny stopped at a flea market in the town of Žilina. Here, she saw many authentic Slovak artifacts and handmade products, such as honey and jams, jewelry, baskets, metalworks, imitation modrotlač, embroidered items, and more!

Her 8th stop led her to the small town of Rusovce in Western Slovakia, for the Children’s Day put on by SL’UK (Slovenský ľudový umelecký kolektív/Slovak Folk Art Collective). This included many demonstrations of traditional Slovak traditions and crafts such as pumpkin hollowing for wine storage, knife sharpening, pottery, thread spinning, and more! They also had a puppet show and traditional dance performances and workshops. 

Her 9th and final visit was a meeting with two prestigious organizations in Slovakia. One was with ÚSZZ ( Úrad pre Slovákov žijúcich v Zahraničí/Office for Slovaks Living abroad). Here, she spoke with the chairwoman of ÚSZZ, Dagmar Repčeková. She also met with Miriam Istóková, the manager of Živena, the oldest Women’s Association in Slovakia. She spoke with both organizations on expanding connections between Slovakia and the United States, the role the organizations play in Slovakia and the US, and what the US Czech-Slovak communities do for Slovaks. 

During her trip, Destiny did several interviews, including one with Bára Dojčárová on TVS Television in Morava, and one with Jarmila Kovacova on TV Markíza’s Reflex show. 

Destiny would like to thank all of the people that made this trip possible, including her mother, Marianna, who acted as her manager, organizing every step of the trip and ensuring it happened, along with the rest of her family who helped and supported Destiny on this visit, including her sister, her father, and her uncle and his family, who hosted Destiny, her mother, and her sister during their stay in Slovakia. She’d also like to thank the town of Kunovice, its mayor Pavel Vardan, and vice mayor Martina Kozelková for their hosting of Destiny and her family on their visits to Prague and Kunovice. She would like to thank her generous and wonderful hosts and tour guides while in Kunovice and Prague, Ivana Majíčkova, former Kunovice mayor, and her husband Petr Majíček, both of whom kindly showed Destiny and her family around Czechia. She’d like to thank Karin Obšatníková, Director of Matica Slovenská Michalovce Headquarters, who organized her trip to Michalovce and ensured she was able to see the best destinations while in Eastern Slovakia! Thank you also to everyone else who contributed to making this visit as wonderful as it was, including those who were willing to meet with her, interview her, and speak with her about her role as ambassador and the communities she is representing. 
She is so grateful for this absolutely amazing experience and owes it to the Miss Czech-Slovak US Pageant for giving her this once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the homelands as a National ambassador. She will never forget this and is forever grateful!