Pulling the Trigger on Festival Fun at the National Harbor

Pre-Old Bay Maryland Blue Crabs!

The National Harbor has been buzzing with events all throughout the summer, including numerous promoted by the Trigger Agency. They hosted huge events drawing thousands of locals encouraged to “drink, eat, relax” and enjoy the fresh tastes of summer, including crabs, lobster, local brews, and flavorful bourbons among other tasty treats. Below is our recap of these smashing summer events and some info about upcoming events.

Think fast: what comes to mind when you think of Maryland? Some may say, “crabcakes and football.” Others say, “Let’s go, O’s!” While others immediately think of blue crabs, Old Bay, and Mr. Natty Boh. Luckily, the Chesapeake Crab & Beer Festival provided all of these Maryland classics on Saturday, August 18th at the National Harbor.

A few of the finer things in life.

Picturesque waterside views accompanied the festival, giving city- dwellers a hint of the beach with all you could eat crabs, fresh corn on the cob, and refreshing watermelon. Over 50 beers and wines were represented, including local favorites from Heavy Seas and Mr. Boh of Natty Boh making a personal appearance. While there were no crabcakes and football, there were enough crabs, Old Bay, and Bohs to make a true Marylander proud.

Spicing things up further, Looking for Lester and other lively bands gave the crowd an opportunity to dance off those calories (or work up even more of an appetite). If dancing wasn’t on your full belly’s agenda, vendors from up and down the East Coast were available with goods from festive apparel and jewelry to handcrafted casks and firkins to fine cigars. While tickets for similar events typically include all you care to eat and drink for the day, you might have been a bit crabby if you forgot some play money to spend on a souvenir to commemorate this seafood filled day.

Practicing the fine art of crab picking in the VIP tent.

Practicing the fine art of crab picking in the VIP tent.

Another very popular event at the Harbor invaded twice this summer, the 1st Annual Foster’s Lobsta-palooza was held on July 30th, followed by a second feast on September 29th. Guests for this event were once again greeted by live music, local merchants, and enough lobster to fill to the gills. Organizers for the event saw people who loved the offerings so much that they got out of the early session (held from 11am – 3pm) and got right back in line for the second session (from 5 – 9pm). With enthusiasm like that, be sure to buy tickets early when next summer’s events roll around!

While this summer’s crustacean invasion may be over, you’ve still got several opportunities to enjoy beautiful views, jazzy tunes, and scrumptious seafood with one last taste of summer at Oysterpalooza, set for Saturday, October 27th at the National Harbor. With options for two seatings, at 11am – 3pm and 5pm – 9pm, food options will once again include unlimited beer and wine, all you care to eat oysters of the shucked, steamed, fried, and stew varieties  as well as corn on the cob, cornbread, coleslaw, and brownies. Tickets are $90 and available for purchase here.

If you’re already looking to catch the warmth of the holiday season, a brand new seasonal celebration, Holiday Harbor Festival, has you covered. From Friday, November 30th through Sunday, December 2nd, this family-friendly event hosts over 200 artisans of gourmet food, arts & crafts, and other wares perfect for knocking out all of your holiday shopping in one place. While you’re thinking of others, visit Santa’s Cellar & Store, a store just for the adults to sip and stock up on favorite beers, wines, & spirits. Tickets for the Holiday Harbor Festival are available here and are 50% until October 12th at noon when using the special discount code “HOHOHO.”

To stay up to date on all of the National harbor’s festivities, visit http://www.drinkeatrelax.com/. Don’t forget to sign up for email updates and visit Drink.Eat.Relax. on Facebook and Twitter.


Sunset at the National Harbor

Written by Dining in DC’s contributor, Lindsay Hovermale 

Look for more posts from Lindsay to get information on the special event and music scenes in DC and the surrounding areas. Follow her on Twitter @theycallmeHOVE and her forthcoming blog, Hunger Hierarchy.

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