Hungry Girls DC: A Southern State of Mind (TOTS 2014)

Hungry Girls DC: A Southern State of Mind (TOTS 2014)

South-ern: adjective \ˈsə-thərn\
A state of mind.
See also: fried chicken, sweat tea, football, beer, cowboy hats, bourbon, guitars, magnolias, good manners, tradition, hospitable, bless your heart.

Southern hospitality and long-standing traditions are ingrained in those of us born in the south. Growing up southern is, indeed a state of mind. A once small celebration of displaced southerners started 32 years ago has taken on a life of its own – and has become one of the most anticipated events each year.

This Saturday’s Taste of the South was a celebration of all things southern and for this first-time attendee, made for a very happy Texan. Southerners and friends donned their designer gowns, bow-ties and cowboy boots at the gala at the Washington Hilton.

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Hosting TOTS at the Hilton was an upgrade in terms of dance floor space, which many of the 2,000 attendees took advantage of, dancing to a mix of blues, jazz and greatest hits.

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The ballroom also offered plenty of space for all 13 participating states to show their state pride via swag and tasty treats. Some Highlights:

Kentucky, the featured state and fresh off their Kentucky/Louisville basketball showdown, brought some Louisville Sluggers.

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Louisiana didn’t disappoint with jambalaya from Bayou DC and that undeniable Cajun flair.

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South Carolina loves their koozies.

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Tennessee provided the Moon Pies – of which I ate my weight (noshame).

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Cases of Cheerwine made it for the festivities from North Carolina.

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But what made this homesick Texan’s night – Whataburger ketchup.

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And of course I stocked up on my Aggie gear. Gig ‘EM!

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But it’s not just an awesome party. Southerners have a streak of giving – and this year nearly $40,000 was raised for charity through ticket sales and silent auction bids. The featured charities for 2014 are the West End School in Louisville, Kentucky which provides free, private college-prep education for at-risk men, and the DC/MD/VA Chapter of The Lupus Foundation of America, an organization dedicated to finding solving the mystery of lupus. Twelve additional charities across the southern states will also receive a portion of the proceeds.

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And I have to give a mention to Rent the Runway where I got this fab Nanette Lapore dress for the evening.

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