I always enjoy genealogy conferences, but my personal highlight is the Saturday night dinners. For years, I have organized dinners after the close of conferences. I must say that this year the dinner was organized by newsletter editor Pam Cerutti as she did most of the work at this conference.
Planning for these dinners is always hectic and performed at the last minute as I find it difficult to plan dinners well in advance in a distant city. I typically wait until I am at the conference, then look around for a nearby restaurant that is willing to handle a large crowd on a Saturday night. That by itself is a challenge, but we have usually been successful. Most of the dinners have turned out to be great events, and this year's Raleigh, North Carolina, event was no exception.
On Saturday night, twenty-six hungry and thirsty genealogists walked four blocks from the conference hotel to the Pit, a traditional North Carolina barbecue “whole hog” restaurant that advertises it offers “everything but the squeal.” The restaurant features North Carolina traditional vinegar-based barbecue sauce although other sauces are available for those who want something different. All meat is from organic farms that use no artificial chemicals or hormones.
The EOGN dinner was held in a separate area near the back of the restaurant, and various meat dishes were available, along with North Carolina specialties, such as sweet potato pie. A wide selection of adult beverages were also available, including draft beer from a number of nearby micro breweries.
I think it was a success. At least, the noise level was high, if that is any indication. I didn't see anyone send their meals back to the kitchen, so I think the food was also more than acceptable. In fact, I think most dishes were wiped clean by the diners. I know I ate every bit of pulled pork from my plate. It was good.
We all took pictures after dinner.
I'd like to thank everyone who attended. The other twenty-five attendees made my weekend a success.
Will we have another dinner after the next genealogy conference? I have no idea. These events are never planned in advance, and I refuse to change that now. However, I'd say the odds are good. If you have no place else to go on Saturday evening after a conference closes, drop by this newsletter's booth in the exhibit hall on Friday and ask about dinner plans. I should know by then. The restaurants sometimes limit us as to the number of attendees, so it is always a first-come, first signed-up process.