Festivals, celebrations and special events

By Patrick Fisher

Dozinky – New Prague’s Czech Harvest Festival, is this Friday and Saturday. There will be plenty to do in those two days. Expect to see The Times’ managing editor, Chuck Kajer, and myself at a lot of the events. If it seems we’re at a dozen places at once, we just may be.

This is the sixth Dozinky I’ve been a part of in the seven years I’ve been part of the New Prague community. I missed one as I was at a family wedding one year.

The thing about Dozinky I’ve always found special is the large number of people who are celebrating their heritage. While the pride in being Czech and Slovak takes center stage during the weekend, I’ve noticed there’s a little German pride too. All types of heritages and traditions come out during the festival, clothing being one of the most visible.

Underlining that pride in where people came from is also the pride in being Americans and being able to recognize our heritage. It was most evident four years ago after the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. Dozinky was just a few days after September 11, 2001, and a few people asked if the festival should be postponed a week. Most people said no, we must continue with life and not go on in fear. The tragic events were recognized with a few moments of silence during the car cruise.

People recognize their heritage in many other ways, such as music, dancing and food. There’s the traditional music with songs in the Czechoslovakian language by the New Prague Czech Singers and the dancing done by the Domaci Dancers and the St. Paul Czech and Slovak Dancers. The different types of food is also something I enjoy trying, although usually there’s not enough time to try everything.

New Prague’s Beginnings

Recently I was part of another event that will celebrate New Prague. In 2006, the community is 150 years old and work is progressing on a play about New Prague’s history. Currently the title of the play is Nova Praha: In the Beginning

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