Whatever the Aztec calendar may herald, the cycle over at the International Gay Bowling Organization (IGBO) seems to hold that the D.C. area manages to snag one of the group's tournaments every 11 years. With one in 1988 and another in 1999, this 2010 tourney is right on time.
''We sort of joke that ever 11 years we hold a tournament,'' says Robert Treadway, a member of the local committee that made the successful bid for Washington to host the IGBO Mid-Year 2010 Tournament two years ago. ''We're just hoping everyone has a good time and leaves D.C. happy. We want to showcase our home city.''
To ensure that good time for the bowlers – about 450 at last count – have that good time, Treadway and his fellow organizers have pulled together an exhaustive schedule of bowling by day and festivities by night, along with a few cultural events for good measure.
''We have a busier schedule than most midyear tournaments,'' says Treadwell, explaining that IGBO's annual tournament began with the organization in 1980, with mid-year tournaments launched a couple years later. While the competition will take place at AMF Alexandria Lanes and Bowl America Shirley, socializing will center at the host hotel, Westin Alexandria. ''At night, it's like fellowship.''
And while ''fellowship'' includes the requisite hospitality suites, the tournament's official nightlife venues, Apex and Omega, will offer a shuttle between the hotel and their Dupont Circle neighborhood. All that is augmented by a ladies night at Lace in Northeast D.C., an AIDS Memorial Quilt viewing and memorial service at the hotel, and a trip to Mount Vernon, to name a few.
Treadwell also invites locals who are not participating to come down and check out the action at the lanes during the tournament, which begins Thursday evening, Nov. 11, wrapping up Saturday afternoon, Nov. 13.
The icing on the cake, however, may be Sunday evening's Award Banquet Ceremony, for which organizers have commissioned Baltimore's Charm City Cakes, made famous on Food Network's Ace of Cakes.
''We wanted something nice,'' Treadwell says of the high-end banquet cake. ''I know it's like six tiers. But we're not sure if we're going to be on TV.''
For more about the IGBO Mid-Year 2010 Tournament, including a full schedule of events, visit igbomy2010.org.