Gaufest in Sandusky, OH in 2013, by Emily Fricker

Departure and Arrival

Our Hagey Tour bus driver, Tom, was both congenial and friendly as we traveled the width of Pennsylvania to Ohio. Leaving  our clubhouse in Oakford at approximately 8 AM on Thursday morning, June 20th, a happy group of 44 arrived at our destination at around 6 PM. We checked in and met the other 17 who had traveled either by car or air. Later, we all attended the FRIENDSHIP DANCE.

The Friendship Dance

This dance was held in the Kalahari Ballroom and featured the Alex Meixner Band for the evening. This band is more than entertaining as anyone familiar with Alex can attest. We from Pennsylvania remember his father Al Meixner from Allentown who played often in our area. Alex now plays at many festivals throughout the US. We met many of our old friends and looked forward to the weekend.

The Adult Einzel Competition

This competition where a male and female, are judged together as a couple was divided into 4 age groups:

Ages 16 to 34 – 66 couples

Ages 35 to 49 – 17 couples

Ages 50 to 59 – 11 couples

Ages 60 plus – 7 couples

We had 6 couples competing in the 16 to 34 age group:

Alexander Blank and Michelle Paul

Karl Fetzer and Jenn Lineman

Michael Fricker and Karina Fricker

Werner Fricker III and Allysa Reiter

Daniel Galgon and Nichole Deely

Sasha Malofiy and Mikaela Malofiy.

The Youth Einzel Competition

This competition included various ages groups – ages 6 to 9; ages 10 to 12; and ages 13 to 15 – who compete as a couple but are critiqued as individuals, however, the older group 13 to 15 are also judged individually. Our dancers competed as follows:

Ages 13 to 15 –

Stevie Paul with Kristen Reiter

Stevie Paul with girls from Alpenrose, Lancaster

Stevie Paul with 2nd girl from Alpenrose, Lancaster

Stevie Paul with Emma Walter.

(Although Stevie danced four times, he was only judged on his first dance)

Ages 10 to 12 –

Kyra Malofiy with Kevin Rase of Denver, Colorado

Ages 6 to 9 –

Matt Proll with Anika Mahadevan

The awards for these competitions were to be announced at the

Saturday Festessen (Banquet)

Meetings and Workshops

There were various meetings throughout the four days:  Flag Protocol, Flag Carriers, Vorplattlers and Officials. Workshops included:  Wooden Spoon Workshop, Trachten Hairstyles for Ladies, Children Games and Dance Workshop, and Musical Instruments Tryout. There was also a Gau Library, a Children’s Area and a Schafkopf

Tournier. Following the various meetings as a club we met in our BS room where the Vorplattler, Alex Blank informed us of our groups line up and dance we would perform on Saturday morning at the competition. The G.H. would be dancing first performing the Heidauer! At the close of this meeting Alex presented John Reiter, our immediate past Vorplattler with an “Ehren Vorplattler” medal. Needless to say, John was honored to accept it!

Heimatabend with Folkdancing

This event took place on Friday evening from 7:30 to midnight.

Although some of our group stopped in, the majority of us attended the Welcome Dance held from 8 to Midnight.

Welcome Dance

Alex Meixner once again provided his talents for this evening and a lot of fun was had as we reminisced with old and new friends. The evening ended at 1 AM but many dancers left early as tomorrow was the Group Prize Plattling competition. We knew our group would  dance the “Heidauer” and were the first to perform. Oh yes!!  Sometime during the evening, the “lucky penny” showed up.

Group Prize Plattler Competition

A warmup group consisting of the Enzian Delaware, the Auerhahn Oley PA, Alpenrose Lancaster PA, & Schlierachtaler Stamm opened the event. The 14-couple competition began with the United German Hungarians consisting of:

Alex Blank and Emma Walter

Danny Galgon and Nichole Deely

Sasha Malofiy and Karina Fricker

Werner Fricker III and Allysa Reiter

All fourteen groups did very well. The awards were to be announced at the Sunday picnic. As a group of us headed back to the BS Room, we heard familiar band music coming from the huge corridor/lobby. It was the Heimatklänge with Billy Galgon, Joe Hartmann, John Reiter, Maria Antoniak, and Dan Galgon. A large banner proclaiming PHILADELPHIA was above them and our dancers were giving out small flyers stating:



26. GAUFEST 2017

The Bid

Our Executive Board had decided to place this bid and had informed all officers, chairman and dancers of this decision at our warm-up on June 16. We were told that we would announce this decision at the Gaufest after the group competition.

Further info will be provided on this as we proceed.

The Bauernmesse

A large majority of the attendees from all clubs and their flags attend this important mass where all the banners which the host club presents to all attending clubs are blessed by the priest. Father Ron Kreidler performed this task and also said the mass in the German language. The homily was spoken in English and was relevant not only for this particular Sunday but also for the event.

The Festessen (Banquet)

The banquet took place from 6 PM to Midnight with a delicious dinner and music by Die Lustige Almdudler. All enjoyed themselves with friends and family. At this time, the Einzel Competition Winners were announced.

The Einzel Competition Winners

It all happened so quickly! “We are now going to announce the Adult Einzel Competition Winners. – Ages 16 to 34- 3rd Place – Werner Fricker III and Allysa Reiter from the United German Hungarians, Oakford, PA.”  The name Werner Fricker was barely out of the announcer’s mouth and our group of 61 strong along with many of our friends began cheering in loud voices.

Werner and Allysa proceeded to the stage along with 2nd place winner Adam Hetzel and Christine Olk and 1st place winners Kyle Ott and Regina Rock. These four are from the host club STV Bavaria, Cleveland. Needless to say, we were all very proud that Werner and Allysa had placed 3rd out of 66 couples. Later we were to find out that the majority of our group placed in the top 1/3.

First Place in age group 35 to 49 was Juergen Friese and Heidi Friese. First Place age group 50 to 59 was John Schwab and Karin Schwab from Almrausch, Phila. PA. First Place age group 60 plus was Roger Mowery and Carolyn vMarquardt.

In each age group first prizes won gold medals, second won silver medals and third won bronze medals which they will all wear proudly henceforth.

Youth Einzel Competition Winners

As previously stated the youth although dancing as a couple are judged or critiqued as an individual. They do not win medals however they are acknowledged and receive a pin. We were again very pleased that Steve Paul won 3rd place in the 13 to 15 ages group and Emma Walter also won 3rd place in that age group. First and Second Places for girls ages 13 to 15 were won by Kristen and Stephanie Schwab of the Philadelphia Almrausch while Gene Zaiser also of the Almrausch won 2nd Place.

Our two younger couples age groups were not announced.

We continued to enjoy Die Lustige Almdudler and later once again Alex Meixner courtesy of Denver who are bidding for the 27. Gaufest in 2019.

The BS Room

The BS Room(s) are rented by the German Hungarian attendees separately from each family’s sleeping quarters for us to get together to “eat, drink and be merry.”  Almost from the beginning (1989), we have successfully enjoyed these rooms with our own group and with many friends. Whenever we are not busy with the Gaufest schedule, this is where we congregate. So, after the Banquet and Alex Meixner’s music, many headed to our BS Room. Although I, being one of our 4 “Super Seniors” who attended, was in bed by 2 AM, I heard that many had a really good time with some comments by the hotel staff. Since the picnic didn’t start until 11 AM and our Schuhplattler Group was scheduled to perform our “Ehrentanz” in the 12 Noon grouping, it really didn’t matter that some only slept 5 hours. Oh, well! To be young again.

The Picnic

An Ehrentanz is performed by most groups who attend this festival. This is a dance performed by all your dancers and shows your talents. Approximately 40 groups performed throughout the four days. It is interesting to note that seven groups performed from the state of Pennsylvania with New York following with five groups. There were also groups from 12 other states:  groups from 3 Canadian provinces and groups from 3 German Gauverbands.

Performing the PUSTERTALER ALPEN LÄNDLER, our dancers were:

Alex Blank and Michelle Galgon

Dan Galgon and Miklaela Malofiy  

Sasha Malofiy, Jr. and Nichole Deely

Werner Fricker III and Allysa Reiter

Michael Fricker and Lisa Fricker

Karl Fetzer and Anna Martini

Nick Walter and Jenn Lineman

Joey Reiter and Michelle Paul

Brian Noel and Kristen Reiter

Sasha Malofiy and Janet Malofiy

Ben Meck and Susi Hartmann

Josh Meck and Marlene Fricker

Mike Cramer and Karen Mahadevan

Bob Walter and Emma Walter

Stevie Paul and Karina Fricker

John Reiter and Connie Reiter

Group Awards

Later the Group Prize Plattling Winners were announced beginning with those placing 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st. Only the first three receive medals. Since we did not place in the top five, and we knew we had performed well, we were curious to find out our placement. We were happily surprised that we had placed sixth. Our group was the youngest we have ever entered in this competition. Out of the eight, four had never competed in the group competition before.

  • 1st Place— STV Bavaria Cleveland, Ohio
  • 2nd Place— SG Edelweiss St. Paul, Minnesota
  • 3rd Place— Gemütlichen Enzianer, NY
  • 4th Place— TEV Edelweiss, Denver, Colorado
  • 5th Place— Bayern Verein Newark, New Jersey
  • 7th Place— Holzhacker Buam Toledo, Ohio
  • 8th Place— SVEV D’Oberlandler, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 9th Place— GTV Almrausch Philadelphia, PA
  • 10th Place— SVV “Original Enzianer” New York
  • 11th Place— BHTV “Golden Gate” San Francisco, California
  • 12th Place— Almrausch Schuhplattler Altoona        
  • 13th Place— Enzian Schuhplattler Seattle
  • 14th Place— SGV Edelweiss Buffalo

When everyone had arrived and was settled, Marlene Fricker, our Schuhplattler Coach, began speaking. I can’t remember everything that was said but I’ll give the highlights. Marlene has been doing this since she was officially appointed our coach, and everyone looks forward to her comments. Marlene spoke about how proud we were of all our dancers, even though our group didn’t win any medals. She spoke about the individual 8 group dancer’s and the individual couple’s strengths and how they worked to overcome their weaknesses. She said that it had been a pleasure to work with them. She thanked them, their parents and families and all who attended this Gaufest to support the dancers. She spoke about the past and about a hopeful and more successful future. She presented their prize medals to Werner III and Allysa and their pins to Stevie and Emma. Susi Hartmann, our Cultural Group Chairlady, spoke about our youth who had competed in the Einzel. Kristen Reiter had come in fourth place in the 13 to 15 ages; comments on their critique sheets for Kyra, Anika and Matt were very favorable telling them to keep up the good work. Our president, Bill Galgon after congratulating and thanking all, was ever mindful of his role and reminded us all that in exactly one week our club would host German Day and we needed to do lots of work upon arriving home. John Reiter, our former Vorplattler and Alex Blank, our present Vorplattler spoke a few words of pride and encouragement.

The Farewell Dance

Rock & Roll was the theme of this dance which featured the rock band “The Breakfast Club” and they really did rock! All sorts of “rock” costumes were seen. A group of our women were the “pink ladies” from “Grease” while others were the “Spice Girls,” and our men were various rock stars or group members or just dressed as they dressed in the “day.”  It was a lot of fun. Karl Fetzer looked great as “Buddy Holly” and was among about ten chosen to be judged by the audience as the winner. Before the dance ended the four “Super Seniors” headed to bed, so I’m not aware how the festivities ended but I heard there was quite a to do in our BS Room and we were visited again by the hotel staff.

The Checkout

We needed to be at our bus by 11 am and also to check out of the hotel at that time. We are all usually punctual and most were on time. However……Finally, we were on our way home to Pennsylvania. It had been another great Gaufest. This was the 15th Gaufest our dancers attended and the 13th Gaufest our members attended. The Gaufest is a four-day gathering of the Gauverband Nordamerika, a federation of Schuhplattler dancers who are dedicated to preserve and perpetuate the cultural heritage of Bavaria and Tyrol. As we left and said goodbye to many of our friends, we looked forward to the 25. Gaufest which will be hosted by the SVEV D’Oberlandler in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2015. This is the second Gaufest that this group will host.

The Trip to Oakford

The bus made two rest stops on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The trip wound its way through the beautiful Pennsylvania landscape and one can only appreciate the beautiful state we live in. After about 8 hours of travel, suddenly we were no longer on the turnpike but on a Bensalem Township Road. Great Gaufest! Great Family! Great Friends! Great Trip! Great to be Home!!!


2013 Preisplattler Team:

  • Alex Blank – Emma Walter
  • Danny Galgon – Nichole Deely
  • Sasha Malofiy – Karina Fricker
  • Werner Fricker III – Allysa Reiter
  • Marlene Fricker, Coach
  • Michael Fricker – Kristen Reiter – Mikaela Malofiy, Alternates
  • Dino Jakovasic, On Accordion

The top five ranked clubs were as follows:

1. STV Bavaria, Cleveland, Ohio

2. SG Edelweiss, St. Paul, Minnesota

3. Gemütlichen Enzianer, Franklin Square, New York

4. TEV Edelweiss, Denver, Colorado

5. Bayern Verein, Newark, New Jersey

In addition to the 6th Place finish our group had a few individual awards this year:

  • Allysa Reiter & Werner Fricker III (Ages 16-34): 3rd Place
  • Stevie Paul (Ages 13-15): 3rd Place
  • Emma Walter (Ages 13-15): 3rd Place

See all the results at

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