From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Catamarans and Cosmos, Sport Fish and Sazeracs, Boats and Booze

By Lani Gering

You all are probably wondering what’s up with that headline besides being very creative J…I just wanted to get your attention since there are two “firsts” coming to the Harbor this month. The announcement of these events caught my attention since I have a keen interest in both.

The Boat Show

Being involved with an avid sailor who is always looking for the next bigger vessel, I am pretty psyched that the Inaugural DC Boat Show is coming to National Harbor! It will be here all weekend from the 5th to the 7th. May traditionally is the beginning of boating season in the DMV and this show comes in on the heels of the spring shows in Annapolis in April. At the time of this writing there should be 40 boat dealers who will be displaying over 300 boats on land and in water.

Boat shows give you the opportunity to climb aboard a wide variety of vessels from sail to power (both pre-owned and new) and the chance to place an immediate sale or to order. Tour the boats,  grab food and drinks, listen to live music throughout the show, peruse the vendor tents  for the latest in boating gear, meet the experts, and commune with boaters from local  and far away harbors!

The show will have a lot to offer in the way of entertainment with live music in three locations throughout the weekend. A beach party is scheduled for Saturday, the 6th where musician Shawn Owen will play off the back of a Lagoon Catamaran.  Bobby McKey’s Dueling Pianos will be performing in the afternoon in Spirit Park and more than 15 live musicians will perform throughout the weekend at various locations in the show!

Pernod Ricard, the Official Spirits Sponsor, will be providing drinks from their vast portfolio of premium brands including Absolut, Jameson, Beefeater, Malibu, and Kahula. The list of specialty cocktails in the VIP Canopy include fun refreshments like: Lillet Spritz, Malfy Gin, Absolut Bloody Mary’s and Espresso Martinis. Buck Distributing will provide beer brands such as Miller Light and Coors and Craft Breweries including Dogfish Head.

General Admission tickets start at $40 per day, VIP Tickets are $175 per day and come with many benefits including a catered food tent, open bar with specialty cocktails, parking pass, round trip water taxi ticket, access to a cigar roller, beauty consultations, swag bag, and more. The fun begins at 10 a.m. daily. Purchase tickets via and

The Booze

Who knew that the mixologist craze of “craft” cocktails would still be in vogue these some 10 years later? I am partial to the good old standard gimlet or martini but looks like I might be in the minority!

If you have an interest in these “over the top” concoctions you might want to mark your calendars and join in as some of the best “mixologists” in the Harbor gather on Thursday, May 18th at the first ever National Harbor CocktailPRO Competition – the antics begin at 7 pm and end at 10 pm. At the time of this writing there were 13 contestants registered who will be competing for the CocktailPRO title and a cool $1000 in cash.

The best part of this competition? You get a say on who has the best drink! You try all of the unique cocktails and have the opportunity to vote for your favorite. It isn’t just a cocktail competition, you will be able to “catch the vibe” with sounds from DJ Stylus and HOT 99.5’s Elizabethany will be making a special appearance at the competition starting at 7pm! This is also an opportunity for you to enjoy some good eats and more at this exclusive event. Obviously, you must be 21 to attend and have ID available.

The Harbor is home to many restaurants and hotels with bars that offer some of the best drinks libations in the area thanks to the bartenders who make them. I am hoping that a couple of my favorites have entered…. maybe I will see you there.

Tickets for this event are $45 with an option to purchase Early Bird and *VIP tickets at $75. The competition takes place at 151 St. George Boulevard and tickets available at

*Early hour access, VIP Lounge, Heavy Hors D’oeuvres, VIP Giveaways & more.

& More!

The Movies are Back!

Featuring date night movies on Thursdays and family night movies on Sundays through September. Every Thursday (“date night”) at 7 p.m. and Sunday (“family night”) at 6 p.m. guests are invited to gather in front of the Plaza Screen on the waterfront to watch recent releases and classic films. Movie goers are encouraged to bring chairs and order take-out from one of the many restaurants right around the plaza. Free and subject to weather.

4th – Overboard (1987)

7th – Toy Story

11th – I Wanna Dance

14th –  Lightyear

18th – Till

21st – Sonic the Hedgehog 2

25th – Downton Abbey: A New Era

28th – Akeelah and the Bee

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