Macon-Bibb County rolled out a little midstate hospitality to people who work in the state Capitol, with an annual dinner offering “A Taste of Macon-Bibb.”
Macon restaurateurs and caterers spent a few hours setting up spreads of barbecue, hot dogs, tacos, sweets and more for the buffet dinner and meet-and-greet, held a block from the Capitol, in an old train depot that’s been turned into an event hall. State lawmakers, Capitol staff, lobbyists and folks from home filled the old depot, loaded plates in hand, chatting about business, politics and, of course, the merits of different barbecue sauce formulas.
The point of the dinner is to bring Macon to Atlanta, said retired Maj. Gen. Robert McMahon, president of Fickling Management Services. He’s also vice chairman of government relations for the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, which organized the event.
“The context is we bring the food, but the reality is we bring the people, we bring the message of what Macon-Bibb is all about, what we’re doing, where were going,” McMahon said. The message is where Macon-Bibb is going but also what it needs from lawmakers and other folks at the Capitol.
“And it’s a whole lot easier to do in a social environment where we’re all as friends than it is in an adversarial environment, and the food and the drink help us get to that point,” he said.
Alex Habersham, publisher of the Middle Georgia Black Pages, said he took hours out of his work day to come to the dinner because it is a “phenomenal” event.
“Macon-Bibb county is the most prime area in the state, and we can’t do enough to get that message out. We’ve got water, we’ve got colleges, we’ve got infrastructure, we’ve got a good government ... part of the mission of this day at the Capitol is to let everybody know everything that’s going on in Macon, and how much we’re contributing to Georgia and how fertile Bibb County is.”
He was also among the many Middle Georgia locals who recommended visitors try Nu-Way.
“Because of their long history of supporting the community and this event,” he said. “And the hot dogs are good.”
Maggie Lee: @maggie_a_lee