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Holiday parties are back in DC for 2021, if you’re on the list

Heard on the Hill’s guide to the December flurry

The holiday reception circuit is back on in Washington, with some nods to the ongoing pandemic. Above, an activist dressed as Santa demonstrates in front of the Capitol last year.
The holiday reception circuit is back on in Washington, with some nods to the ongoing pandemic. Above, an activist dressed as Santa demonstrates in front of the Capitol last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Yuletide is upon us, and with it a wave of holiday parties across D.C., led by lavish lobbying shop shindigs and tony trade group gatherings. Last December, COVID precautions led to a Year Without a Santa Claus for K Street. This year, parties are back.

But it won’t be all tidings of comfort and joy; the looming specter of the omicron variant of the coronavirus may yet drag us back to 2020, like a horrid ghost of Christmas past. With that in mind, many — but not all — parties have vaccine mandates or require a recent negative COVID test for entry. Getting in may be trickier this year, too — more gatherings this year require invites and won’t let you transfer them, or are capping the size of the crowd.

Here are some of the holiday parties happening this year, with details subject to change. Unlike Santa’s, our list isn’t perfect, so send your invites to Heard on the Hill at HOH@rollcall.com and we’ll add them. 

Bank Policy Institute
When: Dec. 1, 5–7 p.m.
Details: Don’t forget your vaccination card (or a photo of it); BPI has mandated vaccines for this invite-only rooftop party.

Alibaba
When: Dec. 1, 5–7 p.m.
Where: Charlie Palmer Steak
Details: Invited guests can RSVP at invite@alibabindc.com

Clean Hydrogen Future Coalition (CHFC)
When: Dec. 1, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Where: The Rooftop at the Graham Hotel in Georgetown
Details: Invite only

Interdigital
When: Dec. 1, 5:30–8 p.m.
Where: 1015 7th Street NW
Details: Invited guests can RSVP at interdigitalrsvp@InterDigital.com

International Dairy Foods Association
When: Dec. 1, 6-8 p.m.
Where: 101 Constitution Ave. NW, 9th floor terrace
Details: The dairy farmers “encourage” invitees to be vaccinated, but do not mandate it. They also ask partygoers to follow CDC and D.C. guidelines, and, “if on the day of the event you are experiencing a fever, cough, body aches or any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19, we kindly request you do not attend the event.”

Andreessen Horowitz
When: Dec. 1, 6–8:30 p.m.
Where: The Metropolitan Club, 1700 H Street NW
Details: Invited guests can RSVP at a16z@meetingsolutionsinc.com

ClearPath
When: Dec. 2, 6–10 p.m.
Where: Eastern Market, North Hall
Details: Like many hosts this year, ClearPath has a bright line invite-only rule — invitations are not transferable. “For the health of all attending this event, we ask that you use your best judgement ahead of attending. If you have been sick, are feeling sick or have symptoms of COVID-19, we ask that you please do not attend.”

Subject Matter
When: Dec. 2, 6–9 p.m.
Where: 1201 New York Ave. NW
Details: Invited clients need to check the “I am vaccinated” box to RSVP

The Williams Group
When: Dec. 3, 5:30–8 p.m.
Where: 302 3rd St. SE
Details: Invited guests can RSVP at events@thewilliamsgroupdc.com

44th Kennedy Center Honors
When: Dec. 5, 7 p.m.
Where: Kennedy Center Opera House
Details: “We’re thrilled that the Honors will return in person,” the event page gushes, after a hybrid affair for the 43rd. The exclusive ceremony typically draws big donors and some politicians, and excerpts will air on CBS on Dec. 22.

GlobalWIN
When: Dec. 8, 5–8 p.m.
Where: District Winery, 385 Water St. SE
Details: Vaccines required for invited guests.  

Premium Cigar Association
When: Dec. 8, 6–8 p.m.
Where: 513 Capitol Ct. NE, Suite 300
Details: This party is already sold out on its Eventbrite page, where there’s no mention of COVID.

Business Roundtable
When: Dec. 9, 5:30–8:30 p.m.
Where: District Winery, 385 Water St. SE
Details: Invite only

AFCEA — D.C. Chapter
When: Dec. 9, 7:30–10:30 p.m.
Where: National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW
Details: To attend AFCEA’s 45th Winter Gala, you’ll need to pony up $30,000 to be a sponsor, or $430 for a general admission ticket. Attendees must provide either proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test within 48 hours of the event. 

The Permitting Institute
When: Dec. 15, 5:30–8:30 pm
Where: 507 C St. NE
Details: Invite only

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