By Trang Do

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — This year, many bakeries started selling fastnachts — the coveted, once-a-year Fat Tuesday doughnuts in the German and Pennsylvania Dutch tradition — on Monday in response to COVID-19 precautions.

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As the fourth-generation owner of the Holmesburg Bakery, Buddy Gougher is now in charge of making his family’s more than a century old fastnacht recipe.

“It’s a lot of work, there’s a lot of prepping to it, it’s working around the clock, you know, making all the fillings,” Gougher said.

Each year, the bakery sells upwards of 10,000 fastnachts the day before Ash Wednesday, as people enjoy a final indulgence before Lent.

“We’re only doing it Monday and Tuesday because of the social distancing,” Gougher said. “The line gets longer because you can only let so many people in the store.”

“Traditions matter,” said Sandy Vaughan of Tacony. “We always say that among my friends. Traditions matter, so I had to make sure I came.”

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Over in Mayfair, it seems everyone in line at Haegele’s Bakery Monday had a special fastnacht story.

“My grandmother would always make them when I was young and we’d go to her house on the way home from school and pick them up and be eating them on the way home, because you just couldn’t wait, they were so good!” said Nancy Karnaghan of Port Richmond.

“Mom probably brought me over here since I was about 2 years old, so I’ve been coming here for 60 something years at this point,” said Joe Clayback of Mayfair.

But this year, the excitement is tinged with sadness, with the unexpected death of third-generation owner Glen Haegele, whose cheerful demeanor made the shoulder-to-shoulder wait for fastnachts just as joyful as biting into one.

“Just very happy that with all of the challenges they’ve faced over the past year, God knows, I’m glad to see that they’re still here because we do rely on them,” Clayback said.

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If you missed out Monday, Haegele’s Bakery opens at 6 a.m. Tuesday and Holmesburg Bakery at 7 a.m., but expect much longer lines.