A Warren County tradition was rekindled Wednesday as busloads of local residents descended on the state capitol to mark the first Bologna Day in years.
“I am humbled and honored to be part of such a great day,” said state Rep. Kevin Dunlap who celebrated his first Bologna Day as part of the state House.
Dunlap, along with fellow lawmakers Rep. Judd Matheny and Sen. Janice Bowling, were among the legislators who mixed with their constituents at the state capitol in Nashville on Wednesday. The customary lunch of fried bologna and the fixings were provided by Prater’s BBQ. The event was sponsored by Southern Central Waste Services.
Leadership classes and school groups from Warren County were also treated by speakers that included local product and TBI director Mark Gwyn along with Lt. Ray Robinson of the TBI and Tennessee National Guard Adjutant General Max Haston.
In all, three busloads traveled from Warren County to the state capitol for the event that was held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the hall near the cafeteria in the legislative wing of the capitol. Con-stituents and lawmakers mixed in the halls, sharing conversation and bologna sandwiches between committee meetings.
“This is a good time for Warren County to strut its stuff,” said state Sen. Janice Bowling, noting it helps her put names with faces of many people she has talked to during her time in the Senate.
Chamber of Commerce president Mandy Eller said the event was a great success.
“I hope it continues for many years to come,” Eller noted.
Bologna Day has been the traditional day during which Warren countians mix with their elected lawmakers. The event began in the late 1970s when lawmakers like I.V. Hillis would come to Fraley’s Furniture on Main Street McMinnville and discuss politics while eating bologna and crackers. The in-formal meeting grew into an annual event at the state capitol.