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Now that the eminently successful 2017 Invitational in Washington is behind us, its time to start focusing on the 35th Anniversary event being held in Onancock, Virginia June 6-9, 2018.

In addition to the 35th anniversary of NAHRA’s founding in 1983, 2018 is also the 25th anniversary of the loss of one of NAHRA’s most influential founding members, Richard Wolters.  We’d like to dedicate this event to Richard, and as part of that effort,  the Wolters family has agreed to help us in planning for the event.  With their input we are looking forward to a unique and significant addition to the 2018 Invitational.

Onancock is an historical small town with direct access to the Chesapeake Bay and about a 15-minute drive to the Atlantic Ocean.  Chincoteague, of the annual wild horse round-up fame, is 45 minutes north.  It is as rural a setting as we’ve had at an Invitational, but because it attracts significant numbers of tourists each year there are plenty of options for both lodging and restaurants.  And as part of our event planning we even had a Walmart put in down the road for your convenience.

For those of you that are flying in, Alaska Air has direct flights into Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC (all 3 ½ hours away) and Raleigh, NC (4 ½ hours away).  We’ve found that when flying to an Invitational it is extremely helpful to order some of your necessities as ship to store from Walmart, and if you put us down as authorized to pick up your shipments we’ll be glad to do that for you and have it waiting when you get into town.  That way you can order things a month or more out and not have to worry about back-ordered items not being there on time.

We will have a HQ hotel as usual, but we are also providing some of the offerings on Airbnb and VRBO.  In the past we’ve had great experiences sharing rental houses for the week, and while it doesn’t really save you a ton of money, it does give you far more bang for your buck and a much more enjoyable experience overall.  Our Lodging Options page has several listings that look like they would meet our needs, and if you see any you like, let us know the details and we’ll do a drive by and let you know how it looks.  We’ve already done that for one early entrant, and the in-person visit confirmed the website description to a “T.”

More information to come.

April Update:  Preparations are coming along nicely, and we have confirmed a number of private property locations that will be made available to the judges, none of which have been used for a NAHRA test in the past.  We have overcome the loss of our initial opening banquet location due to fire, and will now be holding our opening Bacchanalia at the Oyster Farm in Cape Charles, a wonderful venue right on the Chesapeake Bay.  Please bring your wallets with you, as we have a number of very attractive auction packages, and for you out-of-towners, we’ll do our best to make sure you will be able to get your items back home.  We have a wonderful group of both local and national sponsors, all of whom have been very supportive of our event.  The town of Onancock Business and Civic Association has been very supportive as well, and we will be welcomed with our dogs to a greater extent than I have ever seen at previous Invitationals.  Entries are open, and our merchandise offerings are up in the Invitational Store as well.  Meals and birds will be up shortly.  The entire committee is looking forward to you joining us in just a few short weeks.  Dog to the line!