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Neighborhoods: Old Town

ANTIQUES FOR ALL (A Double Header) — Almost quietly, Old Town preservationists and collectors have become major players in the Washington Winter Show — perhaps the major antiques extravaganza in the Capital Region and a must go and see.

Old Town's key role has come seemingly overnight, but it hasn't happened that way. Try hard work, dedication and earning the respect of the folks who run this prestigious affair — and the generous welcome for Alexandrians who know a thing or two about antiques and how to raise funds and support for historic preservation.

It's not as if a bunch of Old Towners and their friends creeped across the river late in the night and said "Move over Washingtonians." Alexandrians have played key roles with their friends in the Capital City for years.

More about this later. First I need to give you an overview of the Winter Show — not the least of when it happens and why. This year's version, perhaps the most ambitious yet, will take place the Katzen Arts Center at American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW, from Jan.10 - 13. Admission is $20 and includes a show catalogue. Events are by separate admission. Gobs of additional logistical information is available at 202-248-7159.

Theme of the show is "The Thrill of the Chase: Antiques of the Sporting Life” and the fun begins on Thursday, Jan. 10, when sponsors, benefactors and designers are invited to a private early viewing of the show wares starting at 6 p.m. A half hour later at 6:30 p.m. a Young Collectors reception will enjoy the usual goodies and more (cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and a catered buffet dinner). Show hours on Friday and Saturday will be spiced by everything from lectures, appraisals and more.

I'd be derelict if I didn't mention another special event on Jan. 12 — a "Jazz Night" hosted by one of the 'Towners I mentioned earlier, Amy Heiden, who will join you from 6 to 8 p.m. to sip and nip while enjoying the smooth sounds of the Levine School of Music Faculty Jazz Band.

Your hardworking reporter could go on and on telling you even more about the pleasures bundled into these evenings. But you'll have to find out for yourself because I want to mention some of the show's benefactors from Old Town and northern Virginia who have worked so hard with their brothers and sisters in this tale if two cities.

Let's start with the show's co-chair and go from there. In no particular order following co-chair Mason Bavin are these friends of the show who should take a bow (this listing is by no means complete): Henrietta Burke, Sarah King Carr, Eleanore Denegre, Anna May, Lucy Rhame, Ashley O'Connor, Michaela Robinson, Jean Taylor Federico, Sumpter Priddy, Julianne Belevetz and Shannon Campagna, to name a few.