WASHINGTON, D.C. While the president each year tells the country that the state of our union is strong, it's also fair to say that the state of Washington's event scene is strong. And although politics is the city's lifeblood, the nation's capital is about more than partisan events, shining at its parades and holiday celebrations, elegant galas, and literary events befitting the highly educated city.
This year's list includes several newcomers, including the impressive CharityWorks Dream Ball benefit and culinary event Sips & Suppers from the powerhouse team of José Andrés, Alice Waters, and Joan Nathan. The addition of Capital Fringe, DC Shorts Film Festival, and the Sweetlife Festival reflect the city's thriving cultural scene.
Many of the returning events on the list have grown stronger in the past year. At least six of the benefits raised record amounts of money, including Fight Night, which brought in nearly $4 million. The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Legislative Conference has a solid place on the political calendar and has expanded beyond its original mission with satellite events that take over major venues across the city.
Here are our selections for the events that annually draw the biggest buzz, crowds, media and donor attention, and notable figures in their respective fields.
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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