Welcome Dance (Thurday., July 7, 7PM – Midnight)

The Welcome Dance is the first major event of the Gaufest.

For many of our “closest German friends and extended family” this will be a “Welcome Back Dance”. A time to rekindle old friendships and catch up with our friends that we have not seen since in a long time. For those that are attending their first Gaufest, this is a time to meet new people, create those new, lifelong friendships. The evening will feature the music of Bernie’s Orchestra, so put your dancing shoes on and be prepared to have a great time! Several of the visiting groups from throughout the U.S. and Canada will be performing dance exhibitions throughout the evening. Seating is open. Beer, Wine, Soda and water are included. Dress is Casual Bavarian or business casual.

Heimatabend / Volkstanz & Boarischer / Tanzabend (Friday.,July 8, 6PM-Midnight)

This is a multi-faceted evening program. The evening starts with a traditional Heimatabend with authentic performances of musical instruments, songs and dance. You might see Alpine horns played or a Hackbrett or hammered dulcimer (stringed instrument, played with hammers) being played. Traditional songs may be sung by some, or played on the bells. This is then followed by a Volkstanz (folk dance) and Boarischer segment starting with the Auftanz, a grand march mixer for all to join in. Traditional Bavarian melodies are played and danced to. The last segment is the Tanzabend, or dance evening, with German music and social dancing. Music for the Tanzabend will be provided by the Austrian Boys from Connecticut. Several of the visiting groups will perform dance exhibitions throughout the evening. Beer, Wine, Soda and water are included.

Festabend (Saturday., July 9, time 6PM-Midnight)

The Festabend (fest evening) is the formal Gala event of the weekend. Participating Vereine will be wearing their Fest Tracht (“formal” dress) based on a specific style of dress worn in various regions of Bavaria for hundreds of years. The evening starts with a Parade of Flags, led off by the national flags and followed by the flags of the various Vereine and organizations taking part in the weekend. These flags are very colorful and large, and the Vereine and their Fahnentraeger (flagbearers) are very proud of their flags and many will be waved rather exuberantly.

The three-course platted dinner banquet is served. Seating will be assigned. Beer, Wine Soda and water are included. The evening’s entertainment includes the performance of your host, Edelweiss Passaic, as well as other attending dance groups. At the end of the evening, all of the participating Vereine will perform a “Gauplattler”, which is the only dance that all of the Gauverband Nordamerika Vereine do the same. Die Heimatklaenge from Philadelphia will provide the music for the evening. Requested dress is Fest Tracht or semi-formal attire.

Festtag (Sunday, 10AM-4PM)

The Festtag (fest day) is the last official event of the Gaufest. A buffet lunch is included. The program begins with the Parade of Flags and National Anthems. The Ehrentaenze of this day will feature visiting groups and the youth of all of the organizations performing a children’s Massenplattler (group dance), the Gauplattler. Also on tap for the afternoon is the presentation of awards to the top five finishers in the Group competition, the top three performances of the Einzelplattler (individual dance competition), as well as other awards. Seating will be assigned. Beer, Wine Soda, iced tea, lemonade and water are included. Musical interludes will be provided by The Spitzbuam, from Long Island, NY.

Farewell Party (Sunday, 8PM-Midnight)

For those staying until Monday, the fun is not over! Since we are Down the Shore, we are having a Beach Party theme! Channel your inner Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon. Beach attire and props are encouraged. We’ll do the Limbo and other beach games. The Spitzbuam will be back to entertain throughout the evening. Seating is open. Beer, Wine and Soda are included.