MnDOT rule could curb Dozinky Festival

Chuck Kajer, Managing Editor

A Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) policy could mean changes to New Prague's annual Dozinky Festival. But the New Prague Chamber of Commerce, along with city officials, are working to ensure that the state will allow the city to close Main Street for the festival as it has for many years.

Last year the city petitioned MnDOT to allow the road to be closed from 5:30 p.m. Friday until 6 a.m. Sunday, as in the past. The state agency's Mankato Division informed the city that it would allow it, but asked the city to identify alternatives that would not require the road to be closed more than four hours in the future.

A MnDOT engineer told New Prague Police Chief Mark Vosejpka in an email last September that the growth of the city and resulting increases in traffic made it appropriate that the community identify alternatives that do not require overnight closure of the highway next year. He said MnDOT policy is to not allow a road to be closed for more than four hours for an event.

Kristy Mach, executive director of the New Prague Chamber, wrote MnDOT last year that the festival, which begins with a classic car cruise and street dance Friday and a day-long festival and parade on Saturday, attracts between 10,000 and 15,000 people each year.

Over the years we have worked jointly with local law enforcement to reroute traffic on Highway 19 around our city

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