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A Night At Washington Canoe Club - The Paddling Social Event of the Season

  • Jun 8, 2013 · 5:00 PM
  • Washington Canoe Club


OK, now this is a CKA kind of party!

Lots of food, live music, all the beer you can drink, and wall-to-wall paddlers.  Guys, gals, national champions, and brand-new rec boaters.  Right on the water for sunset.  Cool.

This is a Washington Canoe Club fund raiser to support the restoration fund for the historic clubhouse, and it will be the "gala" of the season for the paddling community.  Ladies here's your chance to rub elbows with some of the hard bodied young racers from the WCC.  Or maybe just some good-natured older guy -- but either way, it's going to be a fun evening in a beautiful place.  Your admission fee of $35.00 gets you to the moonlit docks of the historic Washington Canoe Club on a beautiful summer evening filled with live music and plenty of riverside food and libation, all right on the water in the prettiest place in all of Washington, D.C.

The dock party will run from 5-10 pm (the 10pm is flexible -- it really goes until we all run out of enthusiasm). The cover is $35, which includes a buffet (which is always first-class both for quantity and quality), all the beer you can drink (wine and other selections available), and a blue grass band. (This opportunity to pay/register in advance is a special deal through this meetup. Tickets may or may not be available on site, so this is the sure way to reserve a dinner, a wristband, and a sunset over the water!) The event is going to be on the docks and patio area of the Canoe Club, so it is right on the Potomac overlooking Key Bridge and Arlington.

The band will be a group called "Hollertown." Hollertown is a bluegrass and old time music band that has been playing in and around Washington, DC for the past 18 years or so.

Playing everything from old-timey standards to tunes by Lady Gaga, Bob Marley, and the Texas Tornados, Hollertown is a crowd pleasing band that's a lot of fun for audiences of all ages. They are as comfortable playing for a drunken late-night crowd as they are playing for the little toddlers who love dancing to them at the farmers' markets in Dupont and Georgetown.

So for the price of two or three drinks most places in town, you can get great food (rumor has it that a local chef may provide a couple of big pots of his award-winning Buffalo Habenero Chili), lots of it (almost certainly more than you can eat), live music (from a real band, not just a few rag-tag paddlers with harmonicas), all the beer you can drink, and all the beer you can drink (I just thought that was worth repeating), and a variety of other adult and not-so-adult beverages. And all of this happens right on the water in what many of us believe is the prettiest place in all of Washington, D.C.!

Besides having a really fun evening in a great place for almost no money, this event supports the restoration fund for the historic boathouse. It really is a grand old building, and it has graced the waterfront here since 1904. In a way, the old boathouse is a lot like Chuck – it has a fair amount of history, and it's showing a little bit of wear and tear, but everyone who knows it thinks it's pretty nice to have around.  With a little bit of maintenance, they both should have years of useful service left. Events like this help the Canoe Club with both current maintenance needs, and with building the necessary funding to do a full restoration of the boathouse.

We’ll have people there who paddle everything from Olympic-class racing canoes and kayaks to cute little rec boats; we’ll have national champions, and folks who just bought a standup board last week. What we all have in common is that we all love boats, and beer, and music, and friends (new and old); and especially, we all love when we can bring all of that together right on the water on a warm Summer’s night.

So it is nice that this supports a worthy cause that every paddler should appreciate as a part of the history of our sport, but mostly, this is a wonderful excuse to get a bunch of canoeists and kayakers together for a really great party on the Potomac!

Directions to the Washington Canoe Club:

The address is 3700 Water Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20007.  GPS works pretty well until you get to Water Street, which runs underneath the Whitehurst Freeway.  The Garmin lady gets very confused there, but that's just the last half mile or so.  Once you are on Water Street, just keep the river on your left and drive until the road ends.

From downtown DC: Take K street North to Georgetown. As K Street reaches Georgetown, it becomes Water Street, and continues along the Georgetown waterfront. Just keep going to the very end -- Water Street dead ends at the front gate to the Canoe Club.

From Maryland (Bethesda area), take Canal Road South to M Street, and continue on M Street until you get to Wisconsin avenue. Turn right on wisconsin, and take it to the bottom of the hill (about 1/4 mile) where Wisconsin ends at water Street. Turn right on Water Street, and take it abou 3/4 mile where the street will end, and a bike path begins. The big green building hehind the chain link fence is the Canoe Club.

From Virginia: Cross the river over the key Bridge into DC. On the DC side, make an immediate right turn on M Street. Take M Street to Wisonconsin Avenue, where you will turn right. Take Wisconsin to the bottom of the hill (about 1/4 mile) where Wisconsin ends at Water Street. Turn right on Water Street, and take it about 2/4/ mile, where the street will end, and a bike path begins. The big green building on your left, behind the chain link fence is the Canoe Club.

Parking. Parking in the area can be competitive, but there are a lot of options, so in the end there is always room, but sometimes it is a short walk away. There is a small area that has room for 15-20 vehicles right outside the WCC gate, and those should be available. There is another dirt lot next door that may be available, although the National Park Service has discussed possibly closing that off. If available, that is good for another 20 vehicles or so. Another 50 yards away, beginning at the old aqueduct arch (across from Jack's boathouse), there is free parking for another 30 vehicles or so. When those are all full, the next step is metered parking (the meters in that area are mostly 4-hour meters); there are also parking garages at several places along Water Street, most of which have pretty reasonable weekend/evening rates. The bottom line is that it seems like there is always parking in the area --- but this will be on a Summer Saturday evening, so it's better to come early if you want the best shot at one of the best spots.

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  • Becky

    A beautiful night on the water talki g to old friends and making new friends!!! I enjoyed all the different boats and especially watching the kids having fun!!

    June 10, 2013

  • Gloria

    What a cool place! Thanks Bill, for inviting the meetup groups. The food, music and company was EXCELLENT!
    The evening light seen from the canoe club is absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for sharing it with us! I had a great time!

    June 8, 2013

    • Bill

      G-lady, it was a treat to see you -- as always -- although it seemed like every time I settled down to get caught up, there were more chores (mostly restocking the beer chest). Thanks for coming!

      1 · June 9, 2013

  • Bill

    What a great bunch of people! I liked the band, and the food, and the beer; but mostly, it was about the folks who came. It was a really cool evening. Thanks to all!

    June 9, 2013

  • Chuck

    THe WCC is such a cool place and to hear Bill tell it ... it's the most beautiful place in DC as the sun starts to go down. It is! Great party, more great people. Thanks for coming everyone.

    June 8, 2013

  • Bill

    OK folks, when you get to the Canoe Club, everyone on the RSVP list will be listed at the check-in table. We will probably just have screen names, but you know who you are, so you should be able to point yourself out on the list and get a wristband.

    Also, I am planning to have a pop-up shelter somewhere up on the patio area, and I will probably put a "meetup" sign on it. That will make it a bit easier to get hooked up with some of your fellow meetup friends. That said, the idea is not just have Meetup folks separate from the rest of the folks there. We are planning cut admissions off at 150 total, and about 1/3 of that will be meetups from CKA and Over 40, so meetup veterans should see a lot of people that you know. But poke around, mingle and talk to the "locals." We WCC folks love our little place on the water, and most of us are happy to show the place off. So plan to make some new friends and enjoy the prettiest spot in Washington, D.C.

    1 · June 7, 2013

    • Chuck

      I won't be wearing my skirt.

      June 7, 2013

    • Bill

      Nothing fancy --comfy casual. Shorts, t-shirt etc. I will be wearing an alpha shirt with either jeans or shorts.

      June 7, 2013

  • Ben

    I won't be able to make this event but I'd like to support the WCC. Thanks Bill!

    June 2, 2013

    • Bill

      Thanks, Bullwinkle. I'm thinkin' you, Ralph, Chuck and I just need to figure out an evening that fits everyone's schedule and we'll throw some boats in the water, and some burgers on the grill, and go exploring in the beer fridge.

      June 3, 2013

  • Gloria

    Glad to have the opportunity to contribute to the restoration.

    May 13, 2013

  • gwen m

    Hi Chuck,
    This sounded like such a wonderful evening I immediately paid & RSVPd.
    THEN I checked my calendar.
    I have symphony tickets for that night.
    So if someone would like to purchase my place at the Club, I'd appreciate it.

    May 13, 2013

  • Ralph

    I will be out of town on that weekend. I signed up and then cancelled on purpose, as a donation to the Washington Canoe Club, which is a really need place that needs to be preserved.

    May 13, 2013

    • Bill

      Ralph, That is too cool for words, and speaking for WCC, we really appreciate it. If you let me know when you are in town, we can get together grill some burgers and raid the beer fridge. Might even put some boats in the water. Thanks!

      May 13, 2013

  • Bill

    This place is one of Washington's hidden treasures, tucked away in the trees, on the water, with the old green and white boathouse quietly keeping watch over the river while the rest of the world is stuck in traffic. Those of you who have enjoyed an evening here before, know how special this place is; for those of you who haven't been here, this is a perfect opportunity to check it out!

    May 13, 2013

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