By Greg Gelpi
Tucked under the shadows of towering trees, hundreds gathered for the 13th Annual Taste of Clayton.
Sharing in food from more than 30 area restaurants and caterers, Clayton County residents dined on some of the area's best food while at Stately Oaks Plantation.
The event brings together area eateries and local residents, and Hugh and Grace Moger of Jonesboro have attended for the past 10 years, ever since moving from Canada.
Both raved about the Buckhead Brewery and Grill ribs, which Grace Moger said melted in her mouth.
The food, though, isn't the only thing that has brought the couple back year after year, they said.
"Another reason we came is because we were new to the area and wanted to meet people," she said.
The setting adds even more to the experience of meeting with others from the area and sharing bites to eat from the multitude of food booths, Hugh Moger said.
Friday's Taste of Clayton was the first, though, for Jabari Sales and his sister, Ayana Sales.
"The taste of the food is No. 1," Jabari Sales said. "The second is the fact that you can eat as much as you want."
He described the ribs as "mouth-watering heaven."
"Mom can't do it like that," he said. "Neither can dad."
Ayana Sales agreed with her brother.
"I think it's real nice," she said. "It's worth the money, and you get as much as you want."
Unlike years past, the weather held out and the rain stayed away.
"It's a win-win situation," said Gordon Satkowiak, co-chairman of the event. "The general public is first of all able to come out and sample their dishes and see what they have to offer."
All the proceeds from the event benefited Historical Jonesboro and help keep Stately Oaks Plantation up and running, said Barbara Emert, the president of Historical Jonesboro.
New this year, the organization renovated and added an air conditioner to Juddy's Store, a historic feature of the Stately Oaks grounds that operates as stores did in the 1800s.
The store is selling china with images of Jonesboro emblazoned around the edges, said Stacey Dickson, the president of the Clayton County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Proceeds from the china sales will go toward purchasing signs designating National Register Historic sites throughout Jonesboro.
For more information about the china, call the Clayton County Convention and Visitors Bureau at (770) 478-4800.