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Hill, K Street: Grab a Drink, Get Your Party On

Time to sort through your holiday party invites. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Time to sort through your holiday party invites. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If you’ve been stuck in the Capitol cramming on the “cromnibus” and missing the whole holiday mingling circuit, then it’s time to grab a drink and get your party on.  

Some of the hottest December shindigs are still to come, offering a rare respite from the partisan vitriol and legislative gridlock. These are opportunities for some serious bipartisan collaboration, though the invites — or lack of — can be challenging to navigate. The folks at the Recording Industry Association of America are hosting a charity benefit Thursday for Musicians On Call at the 9:30 Club, featuring the music of Kip Moore.  

The event “is sure to continue our fun tradition of being the hottest holiday ticket in town while raising money and awareness for a deserving charity,” RIAA spokesman Cara Duckworth predicted.  

Another top event comes the following Thursday, on Dec. 18, hosted by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. If they don’t know how to party, who does?  

The biggest of the big lobbies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will festoon its headquarters for the holiday season this Thursday, starting at 6 p.m.  

The National Association of Manufacturers bills its event on Dec. 18 as “cocktails and cheer” and, like most of these K Street-Hill people fetes, promises its event has been tailored to comply with House and Senate rules .  

Big trade associations aren’t the only ones getting into the spirit of the season. Some prime networking opportunities exist in the corporate-sponsored and lobby-shop bashes.  

The boutique lobby shop Elmendorf Ryan, along with Sternhell Group and Meridian Research Group, will toast the season downtown on Wednesday.  

Microsoft is holding court at 901 K St. Tuesday, while the techies over at Google are taking to the W Hotel’s rooftop Thursday.  

But perhaps one of the most anticipated soirees is the Bonjean bash. Hosted by Ron Bonjean, a former Hill denizen and co-founder of Singer Bonjean, and his wife, Sara, the party on Dec. 13 will, as always, include a special celebrity guest. Past guests have included Gary Busey and Erik Estrada, but no word yet on this year’s mysterious interloper.  

“Ron and Sara’s party is attended by the largest and most bipartisan group of Capitol Hill press and legislative staffers and more reporters, producers and anchors than any other Christmas event,” says Doug Heye, a former senior aide to ex-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.  

Heye’s job for the party is always to ferry the celebrity guest to Chez Bonjean. “Only at Ron and Sara’s will you have an MSNBC reporter talking to a Fox News reporter and a Republican and Democratic flack, and not talking politics!”  

We’ll believe that when we see it.  


The Hill Staffer Guide to Holiday Party Invites

Know Before You Go: An Ethics Overview for Capitol Hill Holiday Parties

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