By Linda Looney-Bond
Stanley Washington, 48, of Hampton, had already sampled gumbo, chopped barbecue, and banana pudding about an hour into the 18th annual Taste of Clayton, at Stately Oaks Plantation in Jonesboro.
A relative newcomer to Georgia, Washington said he is still getting acquainted with the South after moving to Georgia from Queens, N.Y., four years ago.
"I came out [to Taste of Clayton] because it's a nice day," Washington said Friday. "I just wanted to get out of the house and see what's going on in the county," he said.
Former Jonesboro Police Chief Brad Johnson was among those in attendance, along with three of his daughters. "I came for the ice cream and the fellowship," he said.
At a cost of $15 for adults and $6 for children, Taste of Clayton visitors were treated to an array of cuisine from more than 20 local restaurants, caterers and food-service providers.
"You get to sample the best that the Clayton County-Southern Crescent area has to offer, and you get to enjoy some wonderful music on the beautiful grounds of Stately Oaks," said Barbara Emert, president of Historical Jonesboro/Clayton County, Inc., which hosted the event.
A local jazz band, Infinite Sounds, provided live music for the crowd.
"It's [Taste of Clayton] a big fund-raiser for Historical Jonesboro, for our preservation and education endeavors," said Emert. "We have sponsors who made monetary or in-kind donations, then we have a silent auction," she said.
Anderson's Diner served up green beans, macaroni and cheese, cubed steak, baked chicken and rolls during the event. It was the second time the Morrow restaurant, which is located near Southlake Mall, has participated in Taste of Clayton, according to Johnny Hollingshed, Jr., president of operations and marketing for the diner.
"We're definitely wanting, and striving, to be a part of our community," said Hollingshed. "This is one way for us to give back [to the community]," he said.
For more information about Historical Jonesboro, and Stately Oaks Plantation, visit www.historicaljonesboro.org.