National Harbor, Maryland, is a great late summer vacation destination with its abundant activities and convenient location just south of Washington D.C.
The city has something for everyone including iconic attractions like the Capital Wheel, ample shopping opportunities, a plethora of unique restaurants, and a series of can't-miss community events. With just one ride on the 180’ tall Capital Wheel you’ll see all of National Harbor, plus many of Washington D.C’s historic landmarks. The town has a series of great activities that are ideal for getting to know the area like boat tours, sightseeing cruises and the various outdoor art displays that can be found throughout the community. If you're a shopaholic, you’ll instantly fall in love with this community. From outlets and malls to boutiques and speciality shops, the area will deliver with over 150 different stores. The community plays host to some of the finest culinary minds and restaurants on the East Coast, including an impressive steak and seafood menu at the Old Hickory Steakhouse, and a local favorite, the Crab Cake Cafe, serving up delicious fried food. The community events here are vibrant, diverse and offer a spectrum of fun things to do for all ages.
Crab & Beer Festival National Harbor has quickly risen to the top of the East Coast seafood event circuit in only seven years. This is a family friendly festival that will have a staggering 60,000 crabs on hand ready for consumption. Turnout this year is anticipated to be bigger than ever with at least 7,000 patrons expected. More than just a seafood festival, the event will feature an art and craft show featuring many vendors selling handmade artisanal creations. You’ll also find a beer area with over 50 beers and wines to sample. Everyone in your group will love the live music performed by great local bands and the giant sized games for all to enjoy. Turn your next average summer excursion into one you’ll remember fondly when you make the trip to National Harbor during Crab & Beer Festival National Harbor. We got the chance to interview Jess Maczka, Event Manager for the Trigger Agency, to talk about the event.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
JM: 2016 will be the 7th year holding the Crab & Beer Festival National Harbor.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw.
JM: This is the World’s Largest Crab Festival! There will be over 7,000 attendees at the festival and we serve a little over 60,000 crabs.
RAL: What is the typical demographic makeup of the event? Children? Families? Couples?
JM: This event is designed for all crab lovers! They come from locally as well as up and down the East Coast. There are always lots of families, but everyone is welcome to come out and participate in the festivities.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
JM: This is the largest festival of its kind. Nowhere else will you see over 3,000 people sitting down to eat crab at one time. It is a celebration of life on the Chesapeake Bay. This is a great opportunity to check out the community and meet a lot of new people.
RAL: Take me through the activities people will find at the event.
JM: First and foremost the leading activity is the all-you-can-eat crab. Eating crab is an involved activity already isn’t it?! You can watch the crabs being steamed and you’ll get to try sampling over 30 craft beers and wines in the beer area. There will live music on the stage during all sessions, as well as oversized games for everyone including Jenga, billiards, and cornhole. Of course, there will be ample opportunities for relaxation and people watching.
RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up specifically for the event?
JM: Yes! We have partnered with the Gaylord Hotel & Resort. They are selling a packages that includes Session One VIP tickets combined with overnight accommodations. The Gaylord is a complete resort with restaurants, spa, nightlife and beautiful views of the harbor!
RAL: Is there maybe one place in particular that guests have been flocking to since the event started?
JM: Because the Gaylord Hotel & Resort is selling the overnight package, guests have been herding there! There are other hotels in and around National Harbor, plus many more a short shuttle trip from National Harbor in Alexandria, VA.
RAL: What does the event mean to the community?
JM: We’ve never done any impact study on the economy, but we bring a lot of people to town for this event. We get a lot of visitors from New York and New Jersey and they spend money at many of the local businesses.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
JM: Of course. Our show only lasts for four hours, but people spend all day and night in National Harbor. People tend to stay for multiple days and use the event has a highlight activity for their trip.
RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community? (School funds, etc.)
JM: The event proudly supports the Spirit of Hope Children’s Foundation.
For more information about Crab & Beer Festival National Harbor, please visit their website.