04/15/2013 03:07 pm ET

Taste Of The South 2013 Photos: Nearly Half A Million Dollars Raised For Charity, With The Help Of Congressman Billy Long, Mr. Peanut

Matt Torrenzano

WASHINGTON -- The South rose up to raise nearly a half a million dollars for various charities on Saturday night at Taste of the South at DAR Constitution Hall.

The 31st annual event's theme was Roaring Southern Nights, partially inspired, according to the event program, by The Great Gatsby. Attendees enjoyed state food fixtures in black tie attire.

The evening's highlight was an auction led by Missouri Congressman Billy Long, a former auctioneer.

Click through the slideshow for photos from Taste of the South, including the Congressman-led auction. Mr. Peanut stopped by too:

Taste Of The South

Each southern state donated to a different charity. A portion of the proceeds also went to the D.C. based The Fishing School. States donated to the following charities:

Alabama - VSA Alabama
Arkansas - Full Circle Full Pantry
Florida - The Key Training Center
Georgia - Shepherd Center
Kentucky - STRIDE
Louisiana - Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana
Mississippi - The Mustard Seed
Missouri - Team Smile
North Carolina - Helping Hands Ministry
South Carolina - Speak for Animals
Tennessee - Exchange Club: Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse
Texas - Rocky Top Therapy
Virginia - Mercy House