White House Correspondents’ Dinner: Where to go celeb-spotting and to watch the show

April 26, 2013

Depending on your inclination for celebrity stalking, you'll want to gravitate toward or stringently avoid the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and T Street NW, by the Washington Hilton, on Saturday. That's the site of the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner, the annual celebrity petting zoo for the Washington press corps, where they can glad-hand such stars as Jessica Alba and Jeremy Renner. So where in Washington can you see real-life celebrities and where can you watch the dinner, if you aren't one of the 3,000 invited guests?

(But first, a quick aside: Stop calling it the #nerdprom. There is nothing nerdy about this event anymore. It brings in some of the most beautiful people in America and now even has a full-fledged gifting suite, like it's the freakin' Oscars. As the Atlantic pointed out, "Nerd Prom" is the most obnoxious of humblebrags.)

If you're invited to parties before or after the event, but not the actual dinner, you're probably looking for a bar that will play C-SPAN so that when you get to your after-party, you'll be able to play along as everyone recalls their favorite jokes from host Conan O'Brien. Although there aren't any true #WHCD watch parties (except for Buzzfeed's party at Jack Rose, which is already full), such nearby bars as Morton's and Ruth's Chris plan to tune their TVs to the event if patrons request it, and the bar at the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown confirmed that they'll definitely be showing the event.

The Ritz also is a good place to hang out if you want to glimpse the occasional celebrity. It and other hotel bars, such as the Four Seasons and the Jefferson, are likely to be hosting this weekend's celebrity guests. Or you could join the horde of teenage girls in front of the Hilton, if that's your thing. If it's not, might we suggest going out on H Street, far from the parties and after-parties?

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.
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Maura Judkis · April 26, 2013