WASHINGTON — The Washington Chamber of Commerce and Cafe Dodici are trying to find a new normal in the era of COVID-19.
One of the main functions of the Chamber is providing community events for families and the community, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, they have had to prioritize everyone’s safety and cancel or modify events throughout the summer, said Michelle Redlinger, the Chamber executive director.
Two-thirds of the Chamber’s budget comes from the “tourism arm” of the welcome center such as community events. The other third is from Chamber members.
A large number of the community events are scheduled throughout the summer, with the Summer Classic and the annual Craft Fair being the two biggest, Redlinger said.
Even though there are other events staggered throughout the year, the Chamber is unsure what the future will look like.
“When will we start to overcome this, and what will the longer effect be to businesses and communities?” Redlinger said.
Redlinger said both the Chamber and Dodici’s have had to rethink how they operate and are trying to find ways to keep their budgets in line.
This is how a partnership for a new fundraiser began.
The Chamber was looking for ways to host events that were capable of keeping people safe, and the idea for “Dinner in the Park” was created.
This Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m., a dinner and live music will take place at Central Park to raise money for the Chamber as well as offer a unique dining experience.
With laws changing surrounding restaurants and their food and liquor licenses, Dodici’s is able to serve food and drinks outside of their restaurant.
A three-course meal will be catered from Café Dodici featuring a Parmesan, Dijon and Italian-herb encrusted chicken breast, bacon-wrapped asparagus, cheesecake and more.
A cash bar with different drinks and wines will be available.
“People can have a wonderful meal next to our Centennial Fountain,” Redlinger said.
There is a maximum of 80 seats with the tables spread out. The Chamber will work with each party to make sure there are enough seats at a table for any size family.
A special table will be hosted by the 2020 Leadership Washington Class to honor their classmate David Collins who died last week.
Tickets are $60 and may be purchased through the Chamber. Of that, $35 is going to the Chamber and future community events.