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Gauverband Nordamerika Participation in the 2016 Lechgau Trachtenfest, July 15-17, 2016, in Steingaden
This is the first of two posts/articles I am writing regarding Gauverband Nordamerika's trip to Steingaden this summer. The Preisplatteln um den Bayerischen Löwen is typically held in conjunction with a local Gaufest. This year it is being hosted by the Lechgau, with "Almfrieden" Steingaden being the host Verein. However, the Gaufest is being held the weekend BEFORE the Preisplatteln. Here's a summary of what is planned for this first weekend. I know there have been questions regarding the venue, and what to wear. The venue will be easy to find. There will be a big Fest Tent set up in town. If you don't see it when you get there (which I can't imagine), just ask. It's a big deal and everyone will know where it is.
Regarding what to wear - remember that we are being asked to participate as fellow Trachtler. I am sure outside observers are allowed and a few may be present, but the richness of the experience comes from immersing yourself in the culture. You can only do that as a Trachtler. A few basic rules are that boys should always have a hat, and girls should always have their hair done. I'll share my views on what to wear with the various events below. Feel free to ask me if you have further questions. Our Gau also has a number of local friends that have advised us in the past and are happy to do so (Anita Biereder with D'Hochleitner Pullach, and Vroni Menzinger with Trachten-Pöllmann).
The weekend starts on Friday evening, July 15th, at 8pm, with a Bayerischer Abend in the Fest Tent. This is a casual event. There will be some entertainment. I would wear what I call Tanzgwand (Bavarian casual, aka Boarisch Gwand, nice Dirndl or soft Mieder/skirt for the girls). I understand that D'Hochleitner Pullach are having a Vereinsabend at their Clubhouse in Pullach that same evening. For those interested, that would be an opportunity to practice for the Preisplatteln. (Details available from Anita Biereder—see her post on the Gau-NA Facebook page.)
FLOWER INFORMATION: For the Saturday and Sunday events, fresh flowers should be worn both with Halbtracht and Festtracht—don’t forget a flower for men’s and ladies’ hats. Anita Biereder has talked with a local florist in Steingaden, Blumen Schön, and they have agreed to take email orders for flowers, preferably by Verein. Specify numbers, type, color, greenery. www.schoen-floristik.de with email to email@example.com. The address is Kissingerstr. 26; Friday hours are 8:30-12 & 2-6. Saturday hours are 8:30-12. Pay when you pick them up (no delivery). About 1 Euro per flower, 50 cents for greenery. (Note - Do not assume they take credit cards! And please pick them up!)
Saturday evening, July 16th is the Gauheimatabend in Steingaden. There is a concert in the town center at 7pm, followed by a procession to the Fest Tent where the Lechgau Heimatabend will begin at 8pm. Halbtracht or Schosserl/Spensergwand should be worn. For the guys, Tracht is Tracht pretty much (white shirt, ties and vests or Ranzen). For girls it's a little less dressy than Festtracht, but still involves your hat and Mieder. (See the Oktoberfest Tracht presentation or Vroni Menzinger’s Gaufest Workshop presentation.)
Sunday July 17th is the big Gaufest. This is a fest, with a parade and a Mass. Festtracht needs to be worn, and this includes fresh flowers. Each of you will need to contact a local flower shop to order some flowers (see Flower Information above). I am sure the hotels can also help point us in the right direction. Boys will need their jackets. Again, check the Gauverband website under "Tracht - General" for the guidelines we used for Oktoberfest 2014 (link). This is the same deal. Here's the timeline for the day:
8:45 am - Lineup for the procession to church.
9:00 am - Procession to church. 9:15am - Mass and Fahnenweihe (the Steingaden group is having their flag rededicated).
11:00am - Frühschoppen and lunch. All visiting Vereine are asked to join the lunch in the Fest Tent.
1:00pm - Lineup for the Fest procession.
1:30pm - Fest procession, followed by Ehrentänze.
5:00pm - Music by several bands for the rest of the evening.
Our Gaufahnenträger, Klaus Vikari, will be there with our Gau Flag. Look for the flag. That's where we will be. We need to register as a Gau when we arrive, and we'll be assigned a parade position. Fest tickets will be sold at the event for 2.50 Euro per person. We can get our final count at the event and buy our tickets together. I have told them how many to expect, so there will be room for us. Regarding doing an Ehrentanz - I am sure we will be invited to do an Ehrentanz, and it would be appropriate to have our Gauverband perform our Gauplattler, as we did at Oktoberfest. We will need to organize a musician (several will be with us), and we will need to assess the space. Please be flexible, we will need to go with the flow. We also have two Vereine with large groups that are joining us (D'Oberlandler Milwaukee and Maple Leaf Almrausch Ottawa). There may be an opportunity for these groups to dance as well. Let's play it by ear. We may need to have a smaller group do the Gauplattler.
Lastly, my work obligations prevent me from joining you for this weekend. I'm arriving the following Wednesday, in time for the Preisplatteln, but I'll miss this Gaufest. We have several Gau Officers that will be in attendance, and I will work with them and the local Vorplattler and Vorstand to make sure things are organized as well as they can be. Please contact me if you have any questions. Have fun, and have a beer for me. I will write a second post/article to discuss the following weekend's events and the Preisplatteln.
Thanks, Rudy Leschke, 2. Gauvorplattler