Hundreds hope for good fortune at Fayetteville's Black-Eyed Pea Dinner

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Ringing in the new year with a traditional good-luck meal.

Chances are you've already done some reflecting to figure out ways to set yourself up for success in the New Year. Well, according to Southern tradition, it all starts at the dinner table.

It's good to be No. 1. Sharon Williams can tell you.

"I'm 72 years young," said Williams.

She was first to be born in her family. On the first day of the year, she was also first in line at the 26th annual Black-Eyed Pea Dinner in Fayetteville.

"I get to break bread with everyone. It's a diversity thing and I love it," Williams said.

The annual luncheon is hosted by Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West and Register of Deeds Lee Warren. Local officials greeted guests by the door.

"Every year we meet the gentleman and ladies, like the sheriff and officials," said one guest.

While others came for the fellowship, the real feature was the food. The Southern superstition goes, "peas are your pennies, greens are your dollars and cornbread is your gold," said one guest.

Whether it truly works is still up for debate.

"No, but if so, I need to hit Mega Millions tonight for my birthday. I got a ticket," said Sharon Williams.

While greens might be for good fortune, having a good year is all in the goals you set.

"My goal is to make good grades and pass," said one mom.

Other residents wished for good tidings and peace in the community but the best wisdom of all came from Judge Jim Ammons.

"Be good, love your neighbor," said Ammons.

Sticking to that one might keep you from seeing Ammons in the courtroom.

"I would really like to have less people in my courtroom," said Ammons.

While the New Year is a time for many to start on resolutions, for others it's a time of resolve.

"I'm just going to make it the best, take it day by day and see what God puts on our plate," said one mom.
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