Okotberfest 2017 Entertainment

At Oktoberfest 2017 everyone is welcome!  Join us...the public is welcome to celebrate this great traditional German family festival with us.  View the 2017 Oktoberfest Schedule for dates and show times for our entertainment.


traditional german entertainment -- Reading Liederkranz Singers and G.T.V. Edelweiss Verein

g.t.v. edelweiss verein

g.t.v. edelweiss verein

The Gebirgs-Trachtenverein Edelweiss, Reading, was founded in 1949 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. 

G. T. V. Edelweiss is very active throughout the year, attending and supporting many functions of the Reading Liederkranz and other German schuhplattler groups in the region. The dancers are often invited to perform at various community events and locations. They host several fundraisers throughout the year, including their annual Father's Day Clambake and Frontier Feast.  G. T. V. Edelweiss proudly hosts "German Culture Evenings" for students studying the German language at local high schools, hosting more than 600 students each year. 

The G.T.V. Edelweiss Verein are a crowd favorite every year entertaining at Oktoberfest.  If you like what you see think about joining this dynamic group.

reading liederkranz singers

reading liederkranz singers

The Reading Liederkranz Singers sang their way into existence when a group of eight German immigrants gathered for a birthday celebration in July, 1885.  Thus was born the Reading Liederkranz Singers, and the Reading Liederkranz.  The beginning and early history of the Reading Liederkranz Singers is also the beginning and early history of the Reading Liederkranz.

The Singers keep busy with numerous concerts throughout the year, including more than 65 years on WEEU broadcasting the Maifestgottesdienst and Weihnachtsgottesdienst; singing for community events, churches, and private special events; the Reading Liederkranz Oktoberfest, German-American Day, the Singers Stiftungsfest, and Christkindlmarkt; as well as participating in exchange concerts with other choruses.

The RLK Singers encourage everyone at Oktoberfest to join them by singing along to the traditional German music.  If you can sing and like to have fun consider joining the Reading Liederkranz Singers.


Family Entertainment

Children and adults of all ages enjoy our Family Entertainment, featured Saturday and Sunday, September 30th and October 1st, various times throughout each day.  View the 2017 Oktoberfest Schedule for show times.

randini the remarkable, magician and juggler

Al Grout, Strolling Magician and Juggler

Known for entertaining and pleasing crowds of all ages, this new Oktoberfest act is sure to be a crowd favorite.  Much more than juggling, Al mixes magic and stories into his act that leave audiences spellbound and wanting more.  His multi-dimensional performances will be a hit with the entire family.

the balloon guy

The Balloon Guy

Twisting balloons for audiences of all ages for more than a decade, he has been entertaining crowds at festivals with unique, creative, balloon designs.  The Balloon Guy at Oktoberfest will delight you as he walks the grounds twisting up balloons to the excitement and pleasure of the crowd.

Scott wagstaff, ventriloquist

Scott Wagstaff, Ventriloquist

A favorite with crowds last year, we are happy to offer this dynamic performer for a second year.  Scott uses humor and entertains audiences of all ages.  Scott combines education and awareness in each show.  You won't want to miss his performances, offering entertainment that is sure to please and excite the audience.  


Musical Entertainment

kermit ohlinger

kermit ohlinger

Entertaining Throughout the 5 Day Festival - Kermit Ohlinger - Dr. Squeezebox

Kermit Ohlinger has been playing the accordion for so long, he almost can't remember when he started.  "I started before I was born," jokes the 73-year-old musician, who goes by the name "Dr. Squeezebox" at the festivals and fairs where he performs his signature German-style tunes.  He first picked up the instrument at age 5, meaning he has been playing for more than 60 years.

As for how he got into the German accordion music he has been playing for the past 33 years, he remembers that a little more clearly: A friend needed an accordion player for a German-style band, and Ohlinger volunteered.

"It's happy music," Ohlinger says, reflecting on why he's stayed with the style so long. "People enjoy having fun, and that's the kind of music it is."

Ohlinger is stage manager for the Oktoberfest, orchestrating entertainment for thousands of visitors to our five-day celebration of German food, music, singing and beer.

"I'm a strolling accordion player,".  "My job is to entertain the crowd when bands are on break."  A long time member of the Reading Liederkranz, the membership will all attest to his musical talents and showmanship.  Kermit just may be the most beloved member of the club!


Dave kline & the Mountain folk fest band

Dave kline & the Mountain folk fest band

Wednesday, September 27th - The Mountain Folk Reading Liederkranz Oktoberfest Band

The Reading Liederkranz Oktoberfest welcomes back Dave Kline for the fourth time on our opening day.  

Presenting a great blend of opening night dance and Oktoberfest music at the Reading Liederkranz.  This band was created to handle opening night at the Reading Liederkranz so that people if all musical tastes feel welcome.  The band performs traditional Oktoberfest music but also serves up plenty if oldies, line dances, novelty dance songs, and yodeling so there's something for everyone.  Most years the band also hosts a yodeling contest and a tuba blowing contest!  It's all about having fun on opening night and setting the mood for the fabulous days and nights that follow.

Dave Kline , (a more than 25 year member of the Reading Liederkranz), on guitar and vocals and Dave Lewis on guitar and vocals, as well as Mike Anderson on sax and vocals, are inductees in the Berks History Center’s Berks County Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Keyboardist Sylvia Keller and drummer Phil Sheetz, (well known for his years of drumming with the popular Outlaws band), are both 21 year veterans of performing with Dave at the annual Kutztown Folk Festival where they performed up to five shows a day for nine days in a row!  Veteran bluegrass, rock-a-billy and fest bassist Rich Freese rounds out the band and also handles the sound for our Oktoberfest. All of the band members are well-seasoned musicians and entertainers who have had the joy of connecting audiences, music and gemutlichkeit for decades.


mike surratt & the continentals

mike surratt & the continentals

Thursday, September 28th - Mike Surratt & The Continentals

The Continentals of Washington, DC was formed in May 1972 and has been under the leadership of Accordionist/Keyboardist Mike Surratt since their humble beginning as a "German" Oom-Pah band. In their 44+ year history the band increased their repertoire incorporating many different ethnic styles of polka and waltz music, plus popular dance hits from the 1940's thru today. Many have tried to label this versatile group of musicians over the years, but most have faced the music that they just have to expect the unexpected at any given Continentals performance.

The Alex meixner band

The Alex meixner band

Friday, September 29th - The Alex Meixner Band

Alex Meixner’s performing career began at age 6 with his two sisters and father in an ethnic folk ensemble. From these early experiences through headline appearances at music festivals throughout the US; concert performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Sandy Duncan and his own jazz and ethnic ensembles; as well as over 50 recordings, Meixner has developed a unique musical mix that appeals to a wide cross-section of audiences.

His talents in music and comedy were even featured on the Tonight Show on NBC in 2004. Most recently, his “Polka Freak Out” CD with Bubba Hernandez garnered a Grammy nomination in December 2007.

Alex also leads The Alex Meixner Band in performances throughout North America. Whether you are looking for sure-fire crowd-pleasing family entertainment, something for the senior audience, classy jazz for a reception or a unique party band- Alex Meixner will work tirelessly to provide the perfect mix for your event.


The Josef kroboth band

The Josef kroboth band

Saturday, September 30th - The Josef Kroboth Band

Josef Kroboth leads a popular and dynamic performing group that combines old world traditional sounds with a versatile repertoire of various styles of music. Josef has been performing professionally for over 30 years. Performances include Oktoberfests and various festivals, concerts, dances, radio and television shows, cruises, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, restaurants, senior centres, organizational functions, and various venues.

  • From traditional Polkas and Waltzes to American and European Standards and Pop, Latin, Country, Rock, and Novelty tunes, you will be sure to find something you enjoy in the vast repertoire.
  • The group specializes in German, Austrian, Czech, Slovak, and Bohemian music adding tight vocal harmonies in various languages.
  • The instrumentation in the group includes accordion, button box accordion, keyboards, guitar, drums, horns and vocals.

bavarski

bavarski

Saturday, September 30th - Bavarski

Bavarski —  A new brand of polkas —  stay tuned!

What do you get when you mix when you mix one of the hottest jazz organists with one of the most versatile drummers around and an opera singer? New York City’s newest Polka Sensation- BAVARSKI! Of course, these aren’t just any musicians putting on lederhosen and pumping out Roll out the Barrel!! Ron Oswanski grew up with an accordion in Toledo, Ohio long before he learned about bebop—listening and playing with his father’s polka band. Also hailing from the land of mud hens- Eddie Biegaj, was singing Polish folk songs with his concertina and accordion while starting an early journey into polka superstardom as a founding member of the Grammy nominated Toledo Polkamotion, after getting his formal classical voice training. Add the foreign element of Matt Zebroski (a native of the far off land of Pittsburgh) who was caught stealing Kishka at family Polish weddings and toured nationally with another polka Grammy nominee, Alex Meixner while gigging and recording with numerous jazz, rock and classical luminaries and you have a band that has the old soul of Polka men, the full repertoire of a rocking party band and the sophistication of jazz cats…  Check out BAVARSKI for your next Oktoberfest, Polka Party, Biergarten or Dance Event… You will have fun.


Sunday, October 1st - John Stevens' Doubleshot

John Stevens' Doubleshot formed together in January 1995. A young and energetic band releasing their first cassette "Doubleshot Preview" in March 1995. Then in 1996 the band released their first full recording "Come On Let's Dance" on cassette & compact disc. This recording opened many doors for the band.  
 In September 1996, Doubleshot had disbanded for a year while members of the band went back to school and found full time jobs. After not playing for almost a year the group got back together in September 1997 releasing their 2nd recording "Everyone's Having Fun". This recording got the ball rolling once again for the band. Playing numerous jobs in NY, NJ, CT, MA, DE, OH, PA, IN, RI, NH, FL, MI, MO and as far west as Wisconsin. Infact, in 1997 the song "Everyone's having Fun" was named number one tune of the year on the Jolly ST. Nick's Polka Revololution show heard over WPHB 1260AM in Houtzdale,PA.


  Not only is John Stevens' Doubleshot a polka band but they can mix up the music to fit any occasion. John Stevens' Doubleshot has had the chance to perform at such festivals as: Pillar Polkabration (CT), Pulaski's Big Polka Celebration (WI), Polka Spree By The Sea (NJ), The Bethlehem Musikfest (PA), Polka Fireworks (PA), Polkamotion By The Ocean (MD), Posen Potato Festival(MI), IPA FESTIVAL (IL), Blocktoberfest(DC), The Cedar Polka Fest (MI), Kinde Polka Fest (MI), ST. Stans  Festival (MI). 

In 2003 the band made the Top 20 list of "BEST NEW SONGS" from 247POLKAHEAVEN.COM at #17 with "GONNA HAVE A PARTY". Then in 2005 they made the list again at #9 for the song "BACK TO THE SEA". Also in 2005 the band made the Top 10 from WPNA RADIO (Oak Park,IL) AT #7 for the song "BACK TO THE SEA".

The band has been on numerous Television shows including: Pennsylvania Polka (WVIA TV), The Jolly Joe Timmer Show (RCN CABLE), Let's Polka (WSKG TV) & The Bethlehem Musikfest (Service Electric Cable).  The band has also been on 2 Polka Cruises and currently has 18 cd releases.  Their main goal is to promote polka music to the younger generation and get them involved with this great EXTREME PUSH music, POLKA MUSIC.


Mädel Jäger

Mädel Jäger

Sunday, October 1st - Mädel Jäger

Mädel Jäger is a group of five "hosen" wearing musicians from Pittsburgh who play a variety of traditional tunes from Germany, Austria and Slovenia, as well as American Classics. They can be found performing at various venues around the Pittsburgh region and never shy away from Keg tappings, Oktoberfest celebrations, weddings or any other function you can think of. Prost!