By Curt Yeomans
It may not be a tiny ristorante on a side street in the heart of Roma, Napoli or Firenze, but the Jonesboro Firehouse Museum and Community Center is about to spend one day among the ranks of Italian restaurants around the world.
Historical Jonesboro/Clayton County, Inc. will hold its annual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser on March 19, from 5 p.m., to 7:30 p.m., at the firehouse museum, which is located at 103 West Mill St., in Jonesboro.
During the event, tables will be adorned with red and white checkered table cloths, and empty Chianti bottles, with candle sticks in them, while songs like "Tarantella" and "Mambo Italiano" are played in the background, according to Historical Jonesboro Board of Directors member Helen Adkins, who is organizing the event, with Peachtree City resident Tiffani Reynolds.
"We try to dress up the firehouse to look and feel like an Italian restaurant," Adkins said. "It's kind of cute, at least as much as an old firehouse can be."
The annual dinner is a fundraiser to pay for upkeep at Historical Jonesboro's Stately Oaks Plantation property, according to Adkins. She said the money is used particularly for springtime upkeep on the property.
"We try to do some planting in the spring to make it look beautiful, and we also do some painting on the exterior of the buildings [at the plantation property]," Adkins said. "Next winter, we'll have to replace the furnace in the main house, which will be costly, so we'll need some money for that."
Dinners will cost $7, per person. Tickets to the event can be purchased at the firehouse museum on the night of the event, or in advance at Stately Oaks' Juddy's Country Store, which is located at 100 Carriage Lane, in Jonesboro. Last year's event drew a crowd of approximately 100 people
Adkins said the historical society prefers that attendees buy their tickets in advance "just so we know how many people to expect."
With the firehouse museum all dolled up to look like a little piece of Italy, transplanted to Clayton County, all that may be missing are the Italian street vendors wandering amongst the customers, trying to convince young women to buy a rose.
Still, it may all end with attendees telling Adkins and Reynolds "Grazie!" as they leave.