History

Taste of the South was founded in 1982 by a group of transplanted southerners living in Washington, DC.  Longing for home and wanting to share the rich traditions they had come to love, the group decided to host a party where they could share with fellow DC residents their love for all things southern.  The following April the first Taste of the South gala featuring twelve states – Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.  Tickets sold for $15, and when it was over they donated the proceeds to a southern based charity.

The second annual Taste of the South gala was held in the spring of 1984.  Missouri joined the Committee and completed the group of thirteen states that make up Taste of the South today.  Over the following years Taste of the South’s reputation grew in Washington DC and throughout the South.

In 1996, the party added an Honorary Congressional Host Committee comprised of Member of Congress from the thirteen participating southern states.  Three years later, in 1999, the committee added a Congressional Reception held on Capitol Hill the week of the gala.  In 2004, the “Dixie Fund” was added to allow all participating states to donate monies to charities in their home states.

Over the years, the committees have worked tirelessly to make substantial donations to charity each year.  To date, Taste of the South has donated over $6 million to charities across the south and in Washington, D.C. From the Pension Building to Historic Hangar #7 to DAR to the Washington, DC Armory and back to DAR, we’ve been able to come together for good causes and have fun while doing it.

No history of the Committee would be complete without recalling the great efforts which have been undertaken to fund worthwhile charitable initiatives throughout the South.  When the first party was held, it constituted a real roll of the dice.  Today, it is a committed and focused committee of 44 southerners who make it their annual duty to share a taste of the south with Washington, DC and give something back to states they will always call home.