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Taste of the South Readies Down-Home Comforts

Washington’s Southern belles and their beaus will glam up Saturday night for the annual Taste of the South at DAR Constitution Hall.

Tickets for the charity gala ­— $125 per person ­— sold out within two weeks, according to the event’s chairwoman, Alyson Gabel, primarily to staffers and lobbyists excited for drinks, dancing and down-home delicacies from 13 Southern states in the name of a good cause.

Since Taste of the South’s founding in 1982, the event annually has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charitable initiatives throughout the South. This year’s featured charity is Mercy House, a nonprofit based in Harrisonburg, Va., that helps homeless families. Proceeds will also help The Fishing School, a D.C.-based youth development organization, and other charities from the host states.

Each state’s menu features staple comfort foods such as fried chicken, corn dogs, grits and pie, accompanied by a cocktail selection to match the night’s “roaring Southern nights of the 1920s” theme, Gabel said.

Organizers are hoping traffic from the Cherry Blossom Festival will clear by the time doors open (7 p.m. for VIP ticket holders, 8 p.m. for general admission) and also encourage revelers to ride with Uber DC. The company is donating $5 to Taste of the South for new riders who sign up with the promo code TOTS13, in addition to giving new riders a $20 credit.

Gabel said this week’s warm weather has been exciting, and she hopes high temps stick around for Taste of the South’s inaugural live auction, taking place on the patio.

Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., a bona fide auctioneer, will lend his talents for the night. Items on the auction block include first-class round-trip American Airlines vouchers to any North American destination and tickets to horse races at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.

Following the gala, Cloture Club is inviting the crowd to Georgetown’s George for an after-party that will feature drink specials on Southern favorites, including sweet-tea vodkas.

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