It’s here...Dozinky weekend!

There’s nothing like a trailer load of concertinas to get everyone tapping their feet during the Parade of Farm Pride on Saturday at noon. (Times File Photo)

You can feel the excitement around New Prague—the 29th Annual Dozinky Czech Harvest Festival is this weekend, featuring traditional favorite events, plus a few new ones. There will be an assortment of food, merchandise and entertainment beginning Friday, Sept. 20, and lasting through Saturday, Sept. 21.

            "It’s going great. Everything is falling into place," said Kristy Mach, Executive Director of the New Prague Chamber of Commerce, organizers of the celebration. "We’re just tying up loose ends and making sure everything goes off without a hitch."

            The weekend starts off at 6:30 p.m. Friday with a flash of chrome during Cruise Night,  along the city’s Main Street. The 20th Annual parade of classic cars will be followed by a street dance at the Chamber Beer Garden along Central Avenue N with the band Nudge providing music from 7 to 11 p.m.

            Friday evening and throughout Saturday, 32 food booths will line Main Street. Czech and German delicacies and a variety of other treats will be available. Local businesses with delicious offerings include Domino’s Pizza, Ettlin’s Cafe, FlipSide Pub & Grill, Lau’s Czech Bakery, Patty’s Place, Pizza Ranch, Prairie Pond Vineyard and Winery, and Skluzacek’s Quality Meats.

            Saturday is the big day of activities. Music will be one of the featured events with strolling musicians making their way through the crowds in the downtown area. Several stages will also be set up along Main Street providing Czech, German, American and folk music. The Czech Village at 111 Main St. E, in the parking lot next to Tupy Insurance, opens at 10 a.m. and offers an assortment of ethnic items. There will be jewelry, clothing, stories, books, dancing and demonstrations spotlighting Czech heritage.

            The downtown area will come alive with the Minnesota Zoomobile, Artist’s Alley, the New Prague Historical Scavenger Hunt, The Hive: A center for Arts and Cultural Exchange, a petting zoo and pony rides,  and B-Bopp Inflatables’ playground west of Strike Force Bowl. Nineteen vendor booths will also have an assortment of wares from clothing to toys, and more.

            The Parade of Farm Pride is at noon on Main St. and features Dr. Mike and Kay Wilcox as this year’s grand marshals.

            Sports is the name of the game at Memorial Park. The alumni volleyball tournament runs Saturday, and the Rick Tietz Alumni Classic softball tournament throughout the weekend.

            The Roundbank Dozinky Variety Show is at 7 p.m. in the New Prague High School auditorium, 221 12th St. NE. It features local talent offering comedy, dancing, singing and rope tricks.

            New this year is the Saturday night street dance at 7 p.m. on Central Avenue N featuring the band Under the Covers. The Chamber Beer Tent will remain open during the dance with both closing at 11 p.m.

            Mach said the food and merchandise booths will close at 5 p.m. and will be off Main Street by 7 p.m.

            "A lot of people are really excited about it," said Mach about the dance. She noted if all goes well this year they will have it again next year with some changes for the vendors.

            Highway 13/19 (Main Street) through the city will be closed from County Road 37 on the east to Highway 21 on the west, beginning Friday afternoon until 6 a.m. Sunday.

            Find out more about this year’s Dozinky Festival in the annual Dozinky Guide included in this week’s edition of The New Prague Times.