123rd Continental Congress: Important Updates and Things to Know

March 31, 2014

As we enter Spring, our planning for Continental Congress kicks into high gear and I want to update you on all the wonderful events being planned.

As you may remember from previous members’ announcements and blogs, we are making many updates to Congress this year. Some are small adjustments, others are much larger. I am eager for you all to experience these new things and to hopefully have an even more fulfilling experience as you visit Washington, D.C.

  • ·         The Grand Hyatt Washington will serve as the new official Congress hotel. The Hyatt is able to accommodate more guest rooms, meeting rooms and banquet spaces for all of the special Congress events.
  • ·         The Congress schedule has been streamlined to allow members to attend more events without them conflicting. All committee forums will be held at the Grand Hyatt and there will no longer be a Friday afternoon business session to allow members more time to freely participate in other events.
  • ·         There will be new and expanded social events at Congress this summer. A new Historic Preservation luncheon will take place on Wednesday. The DAR Project Patriot, DAR Service for Veterans and National Defense committees will join together for the new joint Patriotism Luncheon on Friday. In addition the DAR School Supper will be longer to allow for the school representatives to speak and expanded space will allow for more members to attend.

One of the significant changes for this year’s Congress is moving the National Defense Night evening ceremony to Saturday, June 28. This ceremony has always been a highlight of Congress and I am pleased that this touching and memorable celebration of our American heroes will now be the grand finale of the week’s evening award ceremonies.

This change allows for a very exciting new activity on the evening of Friday, June 27 – Celebrate America Night. Rather than a formal award ceremony in Constitution Hall, Celebrate America Night will be an interactive, educational and fun opportunity for Congress attendees to engage with fellow members at the Grand Hyatt. This free event, which will be held on Friday night from 7-10 p.m., will allow attendees to learn more about topics important to DAR members and introduce them to opportunities to become more involved in the work of the National Society as well as other service organizations. Members are invited to wear after-five-attire rather than formal gowns and are welcome to come and go as they please during the event.

Celebrate America Night will feature special presentations by guest speakers, as well as booths with information about participating in DAR committees and other outside service organizations that members and chapters can get involved with in their local communities. There will also be opportunities for members to shop and refreshments will be for sale. And of course a Celebrate America! service project will be incorporated into the evening as well.

I am so thrilled about Celebrate America Night and I think it will be great to experience a new type of special event at Continental Congress!

I hope you all will remember to regularly check the Members’ Website for Congress information.  Recently, many Congress updates have been added.

  • ·         The Tentative 123rd Continental Congress Schedule can be found online and was recently updated with additional information since appearing in the printed Daughters newsletter. The schedule will continue to be updated as there are additional changes so please remember to check it regularly.
  • ·         Information and forms related to Congress Credentials are available on the Members’ Website.
  • ·         Invitations to serve as Pages during the 123rd Congress will be sent via email later in April. In the meantime, please see the paging section of the Congress website for more information.
  • ·         Those members who are interested in joining the DAR Chorus can find more information here.
  • ·         Sign up your loved ones for this year’s Event for Men and Families !

I hope these updates will help you make your plans for Congress this year. I am so excited for the wonderful events of the 123rd Continental Congress and to welcome you all to Washington, D.C.!

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