What’s Happening in Washington, DC: June 22, 2015

Barbecue, cocktail, and crab cake throw downs are all the rage this week in the DMV

America’s 23rd Annual Safeway National Capitol BBQ Festival will take place on Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28.

Summertime is festival and al fresco dining time in the District, and this week’s food and drink fun includes patriotic cocktails paired with a history of booze in America, barbecue throw downs, and a crab cake competition. Prices are as varied as the topics of these events, so there is a ticket price to suit everyone’s budget.

10th Annual Crab Cake Competition by American Institute of Wine and Food
We’re serious about our crab cakes in the DMV and never turn down a chance to try one to see if it meets our standards of quality. Each year, the American Institute of Wine and Food’s competition puts crab cakes front and center, and this year’s event is being held Sunday, June 28, from 12 to 3 p.m., at The Source by Wolfgang Puck. The competition is held to raise money for educational programs, culinary internships, and scholarships and includes Department-verified Maryland blue crab prepared by eight local chefs, with Scott Drewno, executive chef of The Source, acting as emcee. Tickets can be purchased online and are $85 per person.

America’s 23rd Annual Safeway National Capitol BBQ Festival
Rain or shine, heat wave or no, the Annual Safeway National Capitol BBQ Festival, a.k.a. Safeway Barbecue Battle, is one of America’s favorite food and music events, and this year it’s being held Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28, on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, within sight of the Capitol. Proceeds go to support DC Children’s Charities, The Capital Area Food Bank, and USO of Metropolitan Washington, and chefs from around the country compete to wine a portion of $40,000 in cash and prizes in Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned contests that include:

- National Pork Board’s National Pork BBQ Championship
- The Military Chef Cook-Off benefiting the USO
- USDA Choice Beef Contest
- Open Nature Lamb Contest
- Safeway Select Rib Contest
- America’s Best BBQ Chicken Contest

Additionally, there is live music and entertainment on three stages, chef cooking demos, and interactive exhibits. You can buy tickets online for just one day, or there is the two-day pass for $21.49 per person that includes free food samples, access to stages, and more; the $50 VIP party pass includes private dining and drinking areas, special swag, and lots more. 

Patriotic Cocktail Competition
Celebrate America’s love of the tipple at the National Archives Foundation’s Patriotic Cocktail Competition on Wednesday, July 1 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. This smashing competition goes to support the National Archives Foundation, is being hosted at the Archives’ Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery, and the backdrop for the competition is the exhibit entitled, “Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History.”  A panel of expert judges will taste cocktails prepared by ten of America’s top bartenders and afterward you will be free to tour the exhibit. It’s a chance to sample the cocktail entries, mingle with judges and contestants, and bone up on your booze history. The cost is $65 per person and you can purchase tickets online


Summer Whitford is the D.C. City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal and the DC Wine Examiner. You can follow her on Twitter @FoodandWineDiva.