Okotberfest 2016 Entertainment

Oktoberfest 2016 is open to everyone!  Join us...the public is welcome to celebrate this great festival with us.

Family Entertainment

Children and adults of all ages enjoy our Family Entertainment, featured Saturday and Sunday, October 1st and 2nd, various times throughout the day.  

randini the remarkable, magician and juggler

Randini the Remarkable, 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, Randini 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.

Scott wagstaff, ventriloquist

Scott Wagstaff, Ventriloquist

Another new act this year, we are happy to offer this dynamic performer that, while using humor, entertains audiences of all ages.  Scott combines education and awareness in each show.  You won't want to miss his show, offering entertainment that is sure to please and excite the audience.  

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.  We are excited to have The Balloon Guy at Oktoberfest for the first time, as he walks the grounds twisting up balloons to the delight the crowd.


Musical Entertainment

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 72-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 32 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

Dave Kline & the Mountain Folk Fest Band

The Reading Liederkranz Oktoberfest 2016 welcomes back Dave Kline & the Mountain Folk Fest Band for the third time on our opening day.  Although Dave is well known for his bluegrass music shows, he is also no stranger to entertaining Oktoberfest audiences.  Both Dave Kline on guitar and vocals and Dave Lewis on guitar and vocals are both 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 perform up to five shows a day for nine days in a row!  Regular Mountain Folk band member Bob Entler has performed with Dave for more than 25 years.  Veteran bluegrass, rock-a-billy and fest bassist Rich Freese rounds out the band for our Oktoberfest.  Dave is an award-winning singer songwriter and an experienced alpine mountain guide and trip leader who has led groups around the world, including more than 30 trips to Europe.   He produces and hosts the weekly Mountain Folk radio show on WEEU Radio and is the writer/photographer for his weekly Mountain Folklore column in the Berks Country section of the Reading Eagle Newspaper.  The Mountain Folk Fest Band may as well be called the Reading Liederkranz Oktoberfest Haus Band because the group was formed at the request of the leadership of the club for the purpose of providing a wide range of opening night musical fun and activities.  On opening night expect the band to play music you can dance and sing to.  You’ll hear them perform polkas, traditional alpine music, yodeling, rock and roll and bluegrass classics with an Americana sound.  The band will lead a yodeling contest and a tuba blowing contest.   Fun is the other name for Dave Kline and the Mountain Folk Fest Band. 

mike surratt & the continentals

mike surratt & the continentals

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

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 Deutscher Musik Verein

The DMV, as we are often referred to, is not the Department of Motor Vehicles but Cleveland’s own Deutscher Musik Verein - auf englisch, German Music Society. We love to bring oom-pah music and more wherever we go while celebrating all things German, the joy of music and friendships - new and old.

And did we mention that we have a lot of fun doing all that we do!

Our mission is to preserve and celebrate German musical heritage and culture, develop the musicianship of band instrumentalists, and foster camaraderie among fellow musicians and performers .… and have a lot of fun doing it!

We are a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. We raise funds through our performances, our annual Jägerfest fund raiser and donations. The funds we raise go towards the betterment of the band through instruments, music, travel costs and supporting other members of the German community in Cleveland.

We are a Blaskapelle, which is German for Brass Band. However that term is used loosely and often includes woodwinds as well as brass and percussion which is the make-up of the DMV. There are over 50 musicians associated with the DMV and we average 20 – 30 performers at most of our performances but can shrink down to a baker’s dozen if need be. On average we perform around 20 times each year. Primarily we perform across greater Cleveland but have made many appearances throughout Ohio and the Midwest and two tours to Germany and Austria.

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.

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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 —  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.