Washington’s Top 100 Events 2016

The list of the meetings, galas, and industry gatherings that make the most impact in Washington year after year.

#1 Parade, Walk & Festival The festival—which celebrates the anniversary of Tokyo giving cherry blossom trees to the city of Washington in 1912—had more than 40 organizations and 1.5 million people participating in the its signature activities this year. Those activities, which took place at various locations in the city, included the Pink Tie Party fund-raiser, the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, the Blossom Kite Festival, the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival, the Sakura Matsuri—Japanese Street Festival, Cherry Blast, and the second annual Anacostia River Festival. During the fifth annual City in Bloom campaign, buildings and transportation hubs were lit in pink to celebrate the festival. Next: March 20-April 16, 2017
#1 Parade, Walk & Festival
The festival—which celebrates the anniversary of Tokyo giving cherry blossom trees to the city of Washington in 1912—had more than 40 organizations and 1.5 million people participating in the its signature activities this year. Those activities, which took place at various locations in the city, included the Pink Tie Party fund-raiser, the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, the Blossom Kite Festival, the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival, the Sakura Matsuri—Japanese Street Festival, Cherry Blast, and the second annual Anacostia River Festival. During the fifth annual City in Bloom campaign, buildings and transportation hubs were lit in pink to celebrate the festival. Next: March 20-April 16, 2017
Photo: Ron Engle

The Washington events scene may look back on 2016 as the end of an era, as the Obama administration comes to an end and Donald Trump brings his signature style and a new group of power elites to the nation’s capital.

The past year was notable for the many events that celebrated the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. On the social scene, top benefit Fight Night set a fund-raising record, while other benefits—notably the CharityWorks Dream Ball and the Corcoran Ball—did not take place at all.

As with all lists, these rankings are subjective. To choose and rank the annual events on this list, we look at several factors, including economic impact, buzz, innovation, and an event's prominence within the communities it intends to serve.

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