Bright textiles, a sea of flags and colorful traditional dress filled the Atrium and Atrium Hall of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on December 5th for the 8th Annual Winternational Embassy Showcase. The largest showcase to date, 61 embassies and over 5,000 visitors gathered under one roof to celebrate international culture, travel, tourism and trade. Just in time for the holiday season, unique handicrafts, authentic food, jewelry, art from around the globe and hand painted ornaments were displayed and on sale making it one of the largest global marketplaces in the world. Hosted by TCMA (A Drew Company), the group that manages the Reagan Building, and presented by the World Trade Center, Washington DC (WTCDC), this highly anticipated event is held every year in the month of December to bring the diplomatic community together for a full day of cultural exploration.
To kick off the 8th annual event, John P. Drew, President and CEO of TCMA (A Drew Company), Andrew Gelfuso, VP of TCMA and Director of WTCDC, Marie Royce, Assistance Secretary of State Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State and Susan Carmel, President, Carmel Endowment of the Arts, delivered remarks to all of the guests and participating embassies. “Today we have convened  embassies to showcase the arts, cuisine, trade, travel and tourism of these diverse countries. Today’s event brings together [thousands of] diplomats, embassy exhibitors, sponsors, special guests and visitors from around the world. Together, we have developed the Reagan Building into a hub for government, business, global commerce and cultural exchange,” said John P. Drew.
Following, Kimberly A. Bassett, Secretary of the District of Columbia, delivered the Mayor’s official proclamation, on behalf of Muriel Bowser, designating December 5th as “Winternational Day” in the District. Highlights from the embassy tables included, sweet treats from Kazakhstan, hand-painted bowls from Vietnam, beautifully crafted Matryoshka dolls from Russia, handcrafted jewelry from Pakistan, woven cactus decorations from Mexico and live painting from Eritrea.