The year Dozinky almost wasn’t

By: 
Jan Wann, On-line Editor

When I grabbed the can koozie from the cupboard and looked at the inscription it stopped me. “2020 The year Dozinky didn’t happen.” That’s what the pandemic caused. But that’s not what caught my attention. It was the memories from 20 years ago when Dozinky almost didn’t happen!
It was Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, and our community was eagerly anticipating the coming weekend of Cruise and Dozinky. I was serving on the New Prague Chamber Board at the time and we were putting the final touches on all the necessary preparations.
And then the hijacked aircraft changed our lives forever…9/11. As the shocking events occurred and the constant news coverage filled our day we scrambled to finish The Times for that week, which would include our annual Dozinky Souvenir Section. (It’s the only time I remember a TV in our production area as we worked on the paper.)
But would there be Dozinky? Should there be Dozinky? Our country had just experienced the worst terrorist attack in its history. Cancellations and closings were occurring nationwide. The chamber board agonized over what to do.
By Wednesday the decision was reached. There would be a Cruise and Dozinky in 2001. The consensus—we not only needed normalcy at this critical time, but more importantly, we needed to show our patriotism as a country.
Flags! We needed as many small American flags as we could purchase to hand out at Cruise and during the Parade of Farm Pride. Sounded easy—NOT! They were on backorder wherever we called. Jean Edel at McMahon Snyder Drugs finally found us flags through one of her vendors, arranged the purchase and pickup.
Next we focused on how to best show our patriotism during Cruise on Friday night. At the beginning of Cruise Night, New Prague High School senior Christine Edwards sang the national anthem. Marching at the front of the vehicles to lead off the cruise was the New Prague American Legion Color Guard. In what was a first, the cruise of vehicles stopped at 7 p.m. As drivers got out of their vehicles and stood for a moment of silence, spectators lit candles, all to remember those victims in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania. Nearly every vehicle had some type of American flag.
Flags were waving on parade floats and throughout the crowds of spectators during the Parade of Farm Pride on Saturday. Actually, it was more like the “Parade of American Pride.”
There were buckets for donations to the Red Cross in several places, including the chamber beer garden. The Pork Producers and Simon and Simon Liquor both donated the profits from their food booths to the American Red Cross, too.
By the close of the weekend we all agreed that our decision to proceed with Dozinky was the right one. The patriotic spirit was evident and just what our community needed at that point.
It was disappointing that last year became “NoDozinky,” due to the pandemic. But, thankfully we can celebrate again this weekend.
As dark as that time 20 years ago was in our history, it was also an uplifting period. I miss that American patriotism. I hope it doesn’t take a tragedy like 9/11 for us to regain that spirit!

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