10 Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving in D.C.

On November 19, 2013, in DCView, by Focus Washington

The last of the candy corn is gone, your local coffee shop is starting to play holiday-themed music, and it’s finally starting to turn colder. All of this can only mean one thing… Thanksgiving season is upon us! Whether you’re looking for something to do with the in-laws or just going solo, here’s a list of the best holiday-centric activities in the D.C. area for the next couple of weeks.

  1. Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger

    Looking for a fun and creative way to feed the hungry on Thanksgiving? This popular 5k fun run and family walk helps SOME (So Others Might Eat) serve more than 800 meals to the hungry every day of the year.

    November 28, 2013, 8:30 a.m.
    Beginning at Freedom Plaza, between 13th Street NW and 12th Street NW

  2. Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade

    Kick off Thanksgiving week with a lively celebration in downtown Silver Spring. The family friendly event will include giant balloons, a variety of floats, and the Washington Redskins Marching Band. There will also be clowns, mounted police, costumed characters, fire engines, trained dogs, classic cars, South American dancing groups, and high school marching bands. Can’t wait for Christmas? Santa will be there with his elves and reindeer, as well!

    November 23, 2013, 10 a.m.
    Begins at Ellsworth Drive and Veterans Place and proceeds South on Georgia Avenue, ending on Silver Spring Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland

  3. Mount Vernon by Candlelight

    Each holiday season, a costumed guide will take you through George Washington’s historic estate along candlelit lanes. Characters from Washington’s time, including “Martha Washington” and “Nelly Custis,” will tell stories about how the Washingtons celebrated Christmas. After the tour, guests can partake in 18th-century dancing in the greenhouse, sing their favorite carols, and enjoy warm cider and cookies by an outdoor bonfire.

    November 29 – December 22, 2013, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
    23200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway

  4. Anchorman: The Exhibit

    In partnership with Paramount Pictures, the Newseum presents “Anchorman: The Exhibit,” including props, costumes, and footage from the 2004 hit comedy, “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” The exhibit features more than 60 costumes and hilarious props and a re-creation of the KVWN-TV anchor desk and news set. The long-anticipated exhibit is the perfect activity for the seasoned DC veterans who have already visited all of the classic tourist spots.

    November 14, 2013 – August 31, 2014
    555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

  5. Stroll through the National Zoo

    What better way to entertain the kids and the adults all at once than with a good old fashioned visit to the zoo? If it’s particularly nippy out, sip some hot cocoa while you say hello to the animals. Did we mention that it’s free?

    3001 Connecticut Avenue NW

  6. Remembering John F. Kennedy

    President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. Honor our 35th president on the 50th anniversary of his death with a visit to his gravesite, the “Eternal Flame” at Arlington National Cemetery. The Newseum is also paying tribute to his death with an exhibit, “Three Shots Were Fired,” and an original documentary, “A Thousand Days,” chronicling his presidency, family life, and death. The exhibit and film will be on display through January 5, 2014.

    Arlington National Cemetery
    555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

  7. Alexandria Turkey Trot

    Burn off those extra calories before the big feast while doing some good on Thanksgiving with a 5-mile run/walk through the historic town of Alexandria in Virginia. The 38th annual trot is hosted by the DC Road Runners Club, a local group affiliated with USA Track & Field. Food donations support ALIVE!, a nonprofit organization serving Alexandria’s needy.

    November 28, 2013, 9 a.m.
    George Washington Middle School, 1005 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia

  8. Holidays on Display

    Interested in the history of the holiday season? Want a little perspective next time you’re watching the parade on Thanksgiving morning? Visit the National Museum of American History to see “Holidays on Display,” which opened on November 13 of this year. The exhibit examines the “art, industry, and history of holiday display across the United States” by showcasing objects from original displays, photographs, postcards, and illustrations, including items from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Marshall Field & Company Christmas windows.

    14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, on the National Mall

  9. Ice Skating at the National Gallery of Art

    Sure, ice skating is always fun, but there’s something extra special about skating outdoors to a backdrop of the National Archives and the National Gallery’s magnificent Sculpture Garden. If you’re not in the mood to strap into some skates, come check out the scene while sitting at the Pavilion Café, located in the Sculpture Garden, where you can grab a bite to eat and a mug of something hot.

    Mid-November through mid-March, weather permitting
    Constitution Avenue NW, between 3rd Street NW and 9th Street NW

  10. National Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony

    For the first time in almost 100 years, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will overlap. Celebrate this rare event by attending the National Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony at the White House. Festivities will include a musical performance by the US Air Force Band, hot latkes, and donuts. The Menorah will be lit each night of Hanukkah.

    November 27, 2013, 4 p.m., rain or shine
    The Ellipse, at the NW end of the White House, near Constitution Avenue

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Miroslav Lajčák recently visited Washington, New York and Boston for meetings with the U.S. administration and the World Bank. He also spoke at the Atlantic Council and the Harvard University School of Law.

During his visit, Lajčák sat down with Focus Washington’s Chuck Conconi to discuss relations between the U.S., Slovakia and the E.U. In this exclusive Focus Washington interview, Lajčák lays out his vision for the transatlantic relationship and Slovakia’s desire to work with the U.S. on strengthening the Eastern Partnership.  The Deputy Prime Minister stresses “the importance and uniqueness of the relationship” between Slovakia and the United States. Continue reading »

D.C. Votes

On November 5, 2012, in DCView, by Focus Washington

By Colleen Flanagan

Tomorrow decides the fate of the next four years of our country, who will be occupying the White House come January, as well as numerous state and local issues included on the ballot. The polls will be open from 7:00am to 8:00pm at various voting locations in D.C. and Maryland. In Virginia, polls will open an hour earlier at 6:00am and close likewise at 7:00pm.
This year’s election is unique because a record number of residents in the area took advantage of Early Voting. Over the past week, residents waited in lines for up to two-hours long to cast their ballot. The New Jersey government is allowing residents to email or fax in ballots due to the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Today you can research ballot issues and follow Washington Post’s comprehensive guide to local and national elections. Tomorrow we here at Focus Washington urge you to get out and vote.

There are many ways to celebrate Election Day in D.C. including events at Busboys & Poets, The National Press Club, and various restaurants and venues around town. The Kennedy Center is featuring Election Night Jam to ring in the Election. One thing’s for sure, no matter where you go the live results will be prominently displayed.

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Focus Washington: 2012 Election & Conventions

On September 6, 2012, in DCView, by Focus Washington


Qorvis‘ Chuck Conconi sits down with Ron Faucheux to discuss the 2012 election. The presidential race as close to a tie as an election can be as Republicans and Democrats focus on rallying their base and swaying undecided voters with their conventions. Democratic National Convention got off to a fast start with a lot of enthusiasm attendees while the Republican National Convention schedule had to get shuffled last minute to due to hurricane Isaac. The Democrats stand a chance to pick up some house seats, but republicans are likely to hold the majority. However control of the Senate is up for grabs.

Two years Later, the Lincoln Memorial Reopens

On September 5, 2012, in DCView, by Focus Washington

Two years ago, construction began on the Lincoln Memorial reflection pool. Obama put $34 million toward restoring this national landmark as part of the economic stimulus package. This endeavor turned out to be one of the largest projects ever occurring on the National Mall.

The Lincoln Memorial is an important location for our Nation’s history. Many influential leaders have given speeches at the Lincoln Memorial including Martin Luther King Jr’s famous, “I Have a Dream” speech. Many political rallies and celebrations have also taken place at the Lincoln Memorial.

Originally, the water in the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool did not circulate causing leakage. Now, engineers have redesigned the pool to include a circulation and filtration system. The water, which initially came from D.C.’s drinking water source, will now come directly from the Tidal Basin. By not using a natural source for the water, they will save over 20 million gallons of drinking water. The pool is also lined with pathways improving accessibility for the many tourists that visit the site each year.

The Lincoln Memorial stands as a symbol for our nation. It is a culmination of history, hard work, and democracy. The rededication of the Lincoln Memorial will be held on September 29th.


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Author David Wessel and his new book, “Red Ink,” were celebrated last night in a book party hosted by Qorvis Communications. Partner and National Director of Financial Communications, Stan Collender coordinated the event on behalf of old friend David Wessel.

The party was well attended by members of the Washington D.C. business and media community including reporters from Bloomberg, Washington Life and Washington Journal.

The third book by Wessel, “Red Ink” discusses the high-stakes politics of the federal budget in a way that the American public can understand. He examines the 2011 fiscal year in order to explain how the budget process has grown out of control and the people and politics behind it. In his remarks at the party, Wessel acknowledged the brevity of the book saying the federal budget and deficit are confusing especially since they are generally discussed in “vague generalities.”


More Corruption Allegations in 2010 Campaign of DC Mayor

On July 23, 2012, in DCView, by Focus Washington

New allegations have surfaced in regards to DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s 2010 campaign. Former campaign workers allege that Gray’s campaign kept a database with the identities of nearly 6,000 public housing residents it targeted in get-out-the-vote efforts. The list apparently helped Gray’s campaign identify residents thought to be among the most sympathetic to his cause but who generally have not turned out in significant numbers in city elections. According to housing lawyers consulted by The Washington Post, the use of such a list by a political campaign  violates both federal and local laws and regulations, starting with the prohibition against using government resources for political purposes. This is the latest in a slew of violations that have made Gray’s 2010 campaign the subject of an ongoing federal investigation.

For more information on the topic check out this article by the Washington Post: http://wapo.st/LIKf6S

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Andy Wright stops by Focus Washington to discuss joining Polsinelli Shughart’s Washington D.C. office with Qorvis’ Chuck Conconi. Wright and Conconi also discuss emerging trends in energy policy.

The Washington Kastles followed up last year’s perfect season with a 22-18 win on the road against the Orange County Breakers on Monday in the first World Team Tennis match of 2012. The win was the 17th consecutive victory for the Kastles. Leading the way for Washington was two-time league MVP Leander Paes, who teamed with Anastasia Rodionova to win mixed doubles 5-1 before partnering Bobby Reynolds to a 5-3 win in men’s doubles. The Kastles play tomorrow night against the Spring Field Lasers before returning to DC on Thursday for their home opener against the New York Sportimes. You can find the complete Kastles schedule here: http://www.washingtonkastles.com/teams/schedule.aspx

Fun Kastles Fact: Last year’s 16-0 record was the first perfect season in sports since the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

46th Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival

On July 5, 2012, in TechView, by Focus Washington

The 46th annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival resumes today on the National Mall, with a full schedule of concerts, demonstrations, workshops, and food. In its long history the festival has featured performers, crafts people, and local community groups from numerous states and foreign countries. The festival is held outdoors in Washington D.C., between the Smithsonian museums. The festival is free for all attendees.

For directions, a full schedule of events, and other information, visit the Smithsonian website at  http://www.si.edu/

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CAPS Hire Former Captain Adam Oates As New head Coach

On June 26, 2012, in TechView, by Focus Washington

Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee announced today that former Caps captain Adam Oates will be the team’s new head coach. Oates will be making his head coaching debut in replacing Dale Hunter, who stepped down after this past season in which he took over as coach from Bruce Boudreau in November. Oates spent the past two seasons serving as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator for the New Jersey Devils. During his tenure in New Jersey, Oates helped transform a stagnant Devil’s offense into a scoring machine that propelled the team to the Stanley Cup Finals this year. Oates played 19 seasons in the NHL, including 6 with the Washington Capitals.

For more information check out http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ex-captain-adam-oates-hired-174332882–nhl.html;_ylt=AqUfjOjx3DTgdt0kyhBrYe45nYcB

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D.C.’s sweet spring breeze has given way to the sticky and almost unbearable humidity of the summer. The summer heat seems to be almost contagious as Presidential campaigns (read smear tactics) are heating up into full swing to prepare for November’s elections. This weekend, however, the Presidential race will be designated to the backburner as D.C.’s Pennsylvania Avenue prepares for the true “hottest” battle of the summer. That’s right, you guessed it, the National Capital Barbeque Battle
is back. Following the 1992 Presidential Election, Bill Clinton brought to Washington his Falstaffian appetite for all things Southern. Grumblings throughout the Clinton administration regarding D.C.’s lack of good barbeque joints caused D.C. resident Allen Tubis to pioneer the first rich and flavorful National Capital Barbeque Battle in 1993. The event originated as a friendly competition where Republican and Democratic national committees could compete against each other with fire and meat to prove which side of the Mason-Dixon Line truly sported the best barbeque. The Democrats brought the fire in the competitions first two years, causing the Republicans to drop out of the event in its third year for fear of being humiliated once again. Although the political
component no longer remains, the National Capital Barbeque Battle has continued to thrive and is expecting record crowds to swarm to Pennsylvania Avenue this weekend in hopes of finding the perfect blend of barbequed flavor and spice. Attendees
should expect 90 degree weather and even hotter barbeque spice. This year’s top categories include chicken, beef brisket, pork shoulder and whole hog.

For more information regarding the National Capital Barbeque Battle visit the website at http://www.bbqdc.com/contests_new.html


The Bahrain Press Club (BPC) launched its first overseas liaison office on Tuesday at an event held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The event welcomed members of the international media, think tanks, government representatives and NGOs. The BPC liaison office was created to honor the growing relationship between the United States and Bahrain and will serve as a direct connection to the Bahrain Press Club in Manama, Bahrain. The liaison office is expected to provide regular updates and accurate news from the Government of Bahrain, as well as access to senior government officials. According to HE Sheikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, president of Bahrain’s Information Affairs Authority (IAA), “It’s fitting that we establish the first BPC liaison office in Washington, where we have such strong historic ties.” Sheikh Fawaz went on to further declare that “the club will provide the U.S. community with firsthand access to Bahrain and will encourage the exchange of ideas and experiences necessary to further understanding.” The physical Bahrain Press Club liaison office is scheduled to open in the National Press Club in August 2012.

For more information on the BPC liasion office check out Qorvis’ Chuck Conconi’s interview with Sheikh Fawaz al Khalifa.

Call to Action for Child Survival Conference

On June 14, 2012, in TechView, by Focus Washington

Today is the official start of the two-day Call to Action for Child Survival conference hosted by the U.S., Ethiopian, and Indian governments.  The conference is being held at Washington DC’s Georgetown University. Featured speakers include US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and actor Ben Affleck. More than 700 leaders from the private sector, government, and civil society are expected to attend the event, including representation from more than 80 countries, with over 50 countries represented at the ministerial level.

For more information regarding the conference read http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/06/13/hillary_clinton_and_ben_affleck_team_up_to_eliminate_preventable_child_death.

100 Free (and almost free) Things to do in D.C.

On June 12, 2012, in DCView, TechView, by Focus Washington

Are you feeling the tough economic times? But do you still like to have a good time? Well don’t worry, the solution is here. Washington.org recently released their list of 100 Free (and almost free) Things to do in DC. The list’s categories include: Performance, Family-Fun Freebies, Musts for History Buffs, DC Outside, International DC, Economic Eats and Cheap Happy Hours, African-American Experience, Arts & Culture, Around Town and GLBT-Friendly Freebies.

The complete list can be found here http://washington.org/visiting/browse-dc/attractions/100-free-things-to-do.

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D.C. Jazz Fest

On June 7, 2012, in DCView, by Focus Washington

This coming weekend is the finale of the 2012 D.C. Jazz Festival (June 1-10). The  Jazz Festival is the premiere music festival in Washington, D.C. and features more than 100 performances from local, national and international musicians at nearly 50 iconic venues throughout the city. Signature programs of this years Jazz Festival will include Jazz Meets the Classics at the Kennedy Center, Jazz ‘n’ Families Fun Days at The Phillips Collection and Jazz at the Howard. For mor information check out the DC Jazz Fest website.



Dr. Patricia J. Harned, president of the Ethics Resource Center, stops by Focus Washington to discuss the National Business Ethics Survey and people’s perceptions of ethics in the workplace.

For more information on this survey go to: http://www.ethics.org/nbes

Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Eisenhower, discusses the controversial design by Frank Gehry for the Eisenhower memorial, and her family’s opposition to the build.

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Pollster Ron Faucheux, president of Clarus Research Group, stops by Focus Washington to discuss Romney’s win in Michigan, the outlook for Super Tuesday, and the battle for House and Senate seats. 


Sue Sheridan, president and chief counsel of the Coalition for Fair Transmission Policy, sits down with host Chuck Conconi to discuss electric transmission policy and FERC Order 1000.

Continue reading »

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Dr. Ron Faucheux, president of Clarus Research Group, stops by Focus Washington to discuss Mitt Romney’s win in New Hampshire and what the future of the GOP race may look like in the upcoming months.

Wyeth Ruthven, senior director at Qorvis, stops by Focus Washington to discuss how Twitter trends provide insight into how the GOP candidates will fare in Iowa.

Dr. Ron Faucheux, President of Clarus Research Group and Washington pollster, talks to Chuck Conconi about the results of the Iowa caucus.

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Wyeth Ruthven, Senior Director of Qorvis Communications, an awarding winning PR and communications management firm, sits down with host Chuck Conconi on the mounting role of Twitter in the upcoming presidential election campaigns. 

Greg Wilkinson, President and CEO of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, sits down with Rich Masters to discuss a groundbreaking new study from the Earth Institute at Columbia University that discusses the significance of plastics as a source of alternative energy.


Focus Washington: Fashion Writer Samantha Sault Talks DC Fashion

On October 27, 2011, in DCView, by Focus Washington

Samantha Sault, fashion columnist and Blogger, discusses trends from the Spring 2012 Fashion Weeks and previews trends coming to Washington D.C

Dr. Ron Faucheux, President of Clarus Research Group and Washington pollster, talks to Chuck Conconi about a new poll that shows Herman Cain as the strongest leader in the GOP race.

Thriller author Chet Nagle stops by Focus Washington to discuss his new book The Woolsorter’s Plague, which gives a fictional account of two terrorists that make an attack on the U.S. that was planned by Iran. Due to the recent failed attack on U.S. soil by Iran, Nagle and Conconi discuss the relevance of the books subject matter.

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Dr. Ron Faucheux, President of Clarus Research Group and Washington pollster, talks to Chuck Conconi about the impact of the GOP debates on the polls and discusses the relevance of the next GOP candidate have a background in business.

Focus Washington: Paul Starobin

On June 24, 2009, in DCView, by Focus Washington

I was lucky enough to sit down with Paul Starobin before he leaves Washington for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As a contributor to the National Journal and contributing editor of the Atlantic Monthly, Paul has lived and breathed American politics for decades. His new book, After America, deals with the constantly evolving place of the United States in the global realm and how their seat at the table is changing.

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