It only comes around every other year, but this four-day festival, packed with Bavarian/Austrian cultural activities and celebrations, is worth the wait. This year, 57 Vereine (dance clubs) under the Gauverband Nordamerika organization, and six more clubs from Germany gathered for the 26th Gaufest. This year SGTV Edelweiss Buffalo hosted the Gaufest for the third time in Buffalo, New York, attracting…
Schuhplattler und Gebirgstrachten Verein Washingtonia translates to Shoe-slapping and Mountain Costume Club of Washington. Our club promotes the dance, music, culture and ‘Gemütlichkeit’ (genuine happiness) of Bavaria! No Oktoberfest or International Festival is complete without a traditional bell ringing, knee slapping, yodeling German Schuhplattler dance group!
S.u.G.T.V. “Washingtonia” was founded in 1923 by several friends who emigrated to the Washington, D.C. area from Bavaria. Their performance of their native Schuhplattler dances delighted others for whom they danced, and, in time, inspired others to join in the club’s activities. Among their first public appearances was a performance for the benefit of the Relief for German and Austrian Children.
“Washingtonia” has been performing and pleasing many happy audiences throughout the Washington, DC – Baltimore, MD – Richmond, VA corridor for decades.
In 1964 S.u.G.T.V. Washingtonia celebrated its 40th Anniversary and commissioned a flag sewing firm in Munich, Germany to create this embroidered work of art. It depicts a dancing couple in front of the Capitol, along with the flags of the District of Columbia, the USA and Bavaria. We have proudly carried our flag at festival parades in the United States and Bavaria.
Many who have traveled throughout the world readily agree that one of the most colorful and enthusiastic forms of folk dancing is the traditional Schuhplattler dance of the German and Austrian Alps. The dances are robust, intricate, and expressive of genuine happiness. These dances come from little towns in southern Germany and Austria, and are named after them such as Haushammer and Holzkirchner.
The traditional clothing we wear is called “Tracht” and comes from Bavaria in the region south of Munich Germany. The men wear black leather shorts called “Lederhosen”, while the women wear “Dirndl” dresses with white aprons. Both men and women wear green felt hats with white feathers, which makes you feel as though you just landed in the Alpine Mountains.