Washington gears up for a week of parties

Roll out the red carpet, because Washington is ready to party. And stars from across the country are flying in for the festivities.

President Obama, Donald Trump, Kate Hudson, Courteney Cox, Steven Tyler and Jon Hamm are just a few of the VIPs who will attend Saturday’s White House Correspondents Association Dinner, far and away the biggest night of the year for Washington’s political and media elite.

But for many guests, the coming week on Capitol Hill will be marked by a dizzying array of receptions, dinners and late-night fetes all related to the dinner.

The festivities begin Tuesday and last through Sunday afternoon, and as one might expect, the fun is strictly invitation-only. 

On Tuesday night, Financial Dynamics and Quinn Gillespie will kick off the week with a party at the American Gas Association, where partygoers can expect a media-heavy crowd with few congressional staffers.

Thursday offers competing events. Lanmark CEO Lani Hay will co-host an intimate dinner with Elle magazine for the Creative Coalition at the Ritz-Carlton. 

Celebs expected include actors David Arquette, Jason Biggs, Marlon Wayans, Jack McBrayer, Cheryl Hines, Tim Daly, Alyssa Milano and Patricia Arquette.

Meanwhile, over at the Newseum, the National Journal Group will host “Political Pursuit,” a lively political trivia game, pitting a team made up of Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) and former Reps. Tom Davis (R-Va.) and Martin Frost (D-Texas) against a squad of well-known media personalities.

Friday night’s festivities are dominated by national magazines: Time and People will co-host a swanky reception at the St. Regis, traditionally known for being the most celebrity-laden of Friday night’s parties.

Also celebrating will be The Atlantic, with a “WHCD Welcome Dinner” held at publisher David Bradley’s house.

Following dinner, The Atlantic/National Journal Group will co-host a late-night party with Funny or Die and the Impact Film and Arts Fund at Washington’s Longview Gallery. Scheduled performances from Chris Rob and Zahra Universe promise to draw a creative, energetic crowd.

On Saturday, media maven Tammy Haddad owns the noon hour with her high-octane annual brunch, held for the first time this year at the historic former home of the late Katherine Graham. The Georgetown mansion’s current owner, Mark Ein, is co-hosting, along with honorary hosts Wendi Murdoch and Susan Axelrod.

Invitations were sent in the form of a video message, and attendees can expect to see an A-list of guests who will be at dinner later that night.

Saturday night leads with a cocktail hour, held under the same roof as the black-tie dinner, at the Washington Hilton. Many of the major news outlets host pre-parties in the hotel’s basement banquet rooms.

Once dinner begins, more than 200 tables of 10 buzz with conversation, traditionally stopping only for a comedic monologue from host Seth Meyers, and later, for President Obama’s remarks.

As in past years, both Obama and the first lady plan to attend the dinner.

With dinner over by 9:30, there are nearly a half-dozen options for late-night revelry.

The night’s most prestigious party is co-hosted by Vanity Fair and Bloomberg News at the French Ambassador’s Residence, just up the street and within walking distance from the Hilton. Invitations are nearly impossible to come by.

Elsewhere in Washington, MSNBC will host an after-party at the Embassy of Italy, Capitol File will entertain at the Ronald Reagan Building and Washington Life magazine will open the Mansion at Q Street for invited guests.

For those still interested in mingling on Sunday morning, there’s only one place to be: the rooftop of the Hay Adams Hotel overlooking the White House, where the McLaughlin Group hosts a brunch that draws a combination of Washington’s old guard and Hollywood’s new faces.

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