On December 6th, over 50 embassies from around the world gathered together at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center for the 7th Annual Embassy Showcase- Winternational. Celebrating their cultural and culinary traditions, each embassy showcased their food, art, crafts and so much more. This one of a kind event allowed over 4,000 guests to experience the heritage and traditions of all of these countries under one roof. Hosted by TCMA (A Drew Company), the group that manages the Reagan Building, this signature event is held in December of each year and brings together the best of DC’s international and local communities for an afternoon full of festive shopping and cultural exploration.
“When the founders of this building conceived of the nation’s first Trade Center, cross-cultural programs like Winternational are just what they had in mind! Today we have convened 51 embassies to showcase the arts, cuisine, trade, travel and tourism of these rich and diverse countries. Today’s event brings together over 3,000 diplomats, embassy exhibitors, sponsors, special guests and visitors from around the world. It is hard to believe that 7 years ago we began with 4 embassies and now are showcasing the largest one-of-a-kind global marketplace in our city,” said John P. Drew, President and CEO of TCMA (A Drew Company).
Andrew Gelfuso, VP of Global Business Development for TCMA and Director of the World Trade Center Washington, DC, and Ambassador Sean Lawler, Chief of Protocol for the U.S. Department of State, kicked off the Winternational festivities by offering welcome remarks to all of the guests and participating embassies followed by a group photo with ambassadors and officials. The Secretary of Washington, DC, Lauren Vaughan, delivered the Mayor's official proclamation designating December 6th as “Winternational Day” in the District!
This year, the 7th annual event expanded into two spaces, the Atrium and Atrium Hall, to accommodate the drastic increase in participating embassies. Each space came to life as embassies showcased their vibrant table displays featuring handmade crafts, art, food samples, traditional dress, travel and tourism information. As guests perused all of the embassies' displays, they were treated to top global hits by DJ Leo Paraskevas from Discotheque International. Highlights included an authentic Mongolian Yurt, handcrafted jewelry from the African Union, rum cake from the Bahamas, chicken biryani from Bangladesh, the European Union’s Spin the Wheel Challenge, handmade wreaths from Lithuana and sweet treats from Qatar.
As Winternational continues to grow in size and popularity, we cannot wait to come up with new and innovative ways to make the experience more enjoyable for both the embassies and guests. We are looking forward to another successful event next year!