Dozinky music is always a treat

By Patrick Fisher

It's that time of year when festivals, fairs and celebrations are being held nearly every weekend. Around this area, people are getting ready for Dozinky-New Prague's Czech Harvest Festival, which will be held this weekend.

As most people know, a large part of the weekend is the music. A variety of groups, from soloists to different sized bands will be providing that music. The majority will be of Czech or German heritage, although there will be some contemporary offerings at the street dance along Central Avenue North on Friday and in some of the establishments on Main Street.

It's impressive how the New Prague Chamber of Commerce can always find so many groups to play. Each has their own sound, or distinctive style, of how they play the music. There's the New Prague Czech Singers, the New Prague High School Polka Band, the Czech Area Concertina Club and others. In a way it's kind of incredible how the music adds to the feeling of the festival. Since the music is so upbeat, it helps add to the good mood of the day.

There have been those rare instances that I've had time to just stand still and listen, hearing the different groups playing at Dozinky. In a way, it's phenomenal how the talking becomes background noise and the music is what becomes the important thing.

A lot of work

As with any big event, there are many people behind the scenes at Dozinky making sure it works. There's the many people with the Chamber of Commerce, who work to put together and coordinate all the groups that are providing the entertainment, food and other events.

At the Wells Fargo Variety Show, the crew of Ellen O'Neill, Lori Deihl, Dan Cross and Larry Pint will be in the background making sure all the acts are on stage at the right time and the sound and lights are working.

Banned Book Week

Later this month, the American Library Association will sponsor Banned Book Week. The week of September 23-30 is a time to bring attention to different books that have been banned over the years either from schools or libraries for a variety of reasons.

Some of the books have been banned due to the content, which people felt wasn't appropriate for the age group. Others have been banned because they felt the language was no longer appropriate. An example is The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I've always felt that we shouldn't get rid of a book just because society has changed. Tom Sawyer is still relevant for different reasons. It shows what the United States was like more than a century ago, it has lessons about life and it's a good story.

It also has a positive effect on people. At Bemidji State University, I met an exchange professor from China, who had read Mark Twain's books about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. He had first read them in Chinese, and was so impressed that one of the reasons he learned English was so he could read the books in their original language. Also, to say he was thrilled over the fact that Bemidji was located along the Mississippi River would be an understatement.

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