Gebirgs - Trachtenverein Edelweiss - Reading
February 1947 Benno Hoerl and Joseph Flock of the Reading Liederkranz felt the need to organize a group to preserve the customs and the dancing traditions of the "Vaterland". With the help of Alois Sager, the schuhplattler dance teacher, and Norbert Knott, the group's accordion player, the formation of the group occured. G. T. V. Almrausch of Philadelphia, Pa was contacted to assist in the instructions and guidance of schuhplattlering quest. In 1949, The Gebirgs - Trachtenverein Edelweiss Reading was formed. The group held a Fahnenweihe on May 5, 1951 to celebrate the purchase and the blessing of the group's flag at the Rajah Temple in Reading, Pa. Another momentous occasion for the group was July 7, 1969 when the G. T. V. Edelweiss became members of the Gauverband Nordamerika. Our dancers have been very active in the Gau throughout the years representing our group at the bi-annual Gaufests in North America, participating on committees, competing at the Gruppen Preisplattln, and hosting the 21. Gaufest in 2007 in Hershey, Pa. G.T.V. Edelweiss - Reading just celebrated their 60th Anniversary in July 2009 at the Reading Liederkranz's outside grove.
G. T. V. Edelweiss is a very active group during the calendar year. The group attends and supports many functions of the Reading Liederkranz and other German Schuhplattlern groups. The dancers perform throughout the year for the community at different functions. The members also host several fundraisers throughout the year such as th Annual Father's Day Clambake, the Jaegerabend and the Frontier Feast (two wild game nights). G. T. V. Edelweiss is the proud host of the "German Culture Evenings" for the German classes of the local high schools. There were 600 students in attendance this past November 2009. At this event traditional German food entreees are served to give the students a taste of German cuisine, history of German descend is discussed, and schuhplattler dancing is viewed and performed.
The Gebirgs-Trachtenverein Edelweiss, Reading was founded with a commitment to fostering Bavarian Traditions, customs, culture and dress; to provide fellowship for members and friends; and to preserve and teach these traditions to present and future generations.