Rock the Vote kicks off WHCD weekend
© Ashley Perks

The weather was unusually cold, but the Rock the Vote Kickoff party was one of the hottest spots in D.C. on Thursday night.

Presented by Fusion and Twitter, the crowd of more than 1,000 go-getters schmoozed while a DJ spun tunes in the background of the event to launch a weekend of festivities surrounding the White House Correspondents' Association dinner (WHCD).

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Held at Blind Whino in Southwest D.C., the brightly painted murals provided a perfect backdrop for the crowd, which included "Gossip Girl" star Kelly Rutherford as well as many 50 Most Beautiful alumni. Food was provided by local food trucks Peruvian Brothers and The Big Cheese, and many a person was seen biting into a grilled cheese sandwich in the brisk night air before heading back inside to the dance floor.

Midway through the event, Rock the Vote President Ashley Spillane hopped on stage and pushed attendees to encourage the youth they know to register to vote, saying that voting should be like a party. Colin Crowell, head of global public policy at Twitter, joined Spillane on stage and joked that his speech would be less than 140 characters.

Rebecca Dorfman and Nikki Baboun from Fusion also spoke before Reston-based popular indie go-go band RDGLDGRN performed.

The Rock the Vote Kickoff party was just one of the events held on the first of four days of WHCD-related festivities. The dinner is set for Saturday at the Washington Hilton hotel and will be hosted this year by SNL cast member Cecily Strong.