Dorothy Zehnder remembered during Frankenmuth bridge walk
FRANKENMUTH, Mich. (WNEM) – Little Bavaria hosted its annual bridge-walk on Monday over what organizers believe to be the youngest covered bridge in the country.
Some of those in attendance also took time to remember Dorothy Zehnder who passed away in July.
“This is such a cool tradition. I mean we have lots of big festivals and big events that bring in 10,000 or 80,000 people. But, I think today might’ve been our biggest crowd,” said Jim Engel, the CEO of Bavarian Inn Lodge.
Over 800 plus people took their time walking over the Frankenmuth bridge for the Labor Day celebration.
“We’re always celebrating our heritage and so, this is really the heritage of this little old bridge,” Engle said.
“The advantage of coming across Frankenmuth’s covered bridge is you get to come over here to the Fischer Platz, and besides the oompah music that you can maybe hear, there’s beer here, so that’s always fun,” said Bill Zehnder, son of Dorothy Zehnder and chairman at Bavarian Inn Lodge.
People grabbed drinks and listened to music, but they also gathered for a different reason this year.
Dorothy Zehnder, Frankenmuth royalty, passed away a couple of months ago before this year’s celebration.
“She never missed one,” Engle said. “One of our guests that was here took this picture here last year, of Dorothy and gave it to me on the other side. He gave it to a whole bunch of the family members as well, so Dorothy’s with us.”
“Looked at some pictures from last year and my mom was still in the golf cart last year. So, it’s a little bittersweet for us of course but you know, as a family we were blessed to have her for, well, my 74 years, but for 101 years,” Bill Zehnder said.
Many of those years were being fondly remembered on Monday by friends and family in the community.
“You know we all miss her dearly. But she’s up there with my dad. And they said, you know, keep oompahing and have some chicken and life will continue to be good,” Bill Zehnder said.
Subscribe to the TV5 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every day.
Copyright 2023 WNEM. All rights reserved.