Fayetteville, N.C. — Hundreds of people in Fayetteville celebrated New Year's Day with a traditional southern meal to whet their appetite for whatever 2012 may bring.
Each year, the Crown Expo Center serves up black-eyed peas for good luck and collard greens for wealth at an annual luncheon, which was hosted for the first time by a group of politicians in the 1970s.
Twenty years ago, Cumberland County Register of Deeds Lee Warren Jr. decided to bring the Jan. 1 meal back for good.
"(I) wanted to not be one of those political figures that you just saw at election time," he said.
Charles Smith comes every year, he said, for "the enjoyment, the excitement (and) meeting friends you haven't seen in a year."
Janice Hall, who hails from Pennsylvania, didn't grow up with the tradition of eating collard greens and black-eyed peas on New Year's Day, but she has grown to love it. She and her husband came from Hope Mills for the luncheon.
"I think it's wonderful," she said. "Everybody comes out and gets together. You see old friends that you haven't seen all year. It's a great time."