WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama was set to join journalists, government officials, politicians and media personalities Saturday night at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner for an evening of humor and celebrity gazing that has become an annual tradition in the nation's capital.
Ahead of the dinner, Obama was spending the afternoon golfing at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, with three White House aides. First Lady Michelle Obama was to accompany him to the black tie event.
Joel McHale, star of the NBC series "Community," was signed to be the dinner's featured entertainer.
The dinner has often come at key moments of Obama's presidency. In 2011, Obama showed up the day before special operations troops killed Osama bin Laden. Last year's dinner came nearly two weeks after the deadly Boston Marathon.
This time, the U.S. and Europe are anxiously watching Ukraine and Russia's role in the turbulence in the eastern region of the former Soviet state.
The correspondent's association, which represents the White House press corps, is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
Several journalists were to be awarded prizes for their coverage of the presidency and national issues.
Glenn Thrush of Politico and Brianna Keilar of CNN won the Aldo Beckman Award, which recognizes excellence in the coverage of the presidency.
Peter Baker of The New York Times and Peter Maer of CBS News won the Merriman Smith Award for deadline coverage.
Megan Twohey of Reuters and a partnership between The Center for Public Integrity's Chris Hamby and ABC News' Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross won the Edgar A. Poe Award for coverage of issues of national significance.