The Big Table: Where food and conversation collide.

Imagine sitting down to dinner with 2,000 of your friends and neighbors. It may be a while before the mashed potatoes make it around to you, but think about the interesting conversations that would transpire.

That’s the aim of The Big Table, a new event hosted by We Are Louisville that intends to bring people together through food and conversation. The first potluck-style dinner will take place on Sunday, Oct. 1, at Iroquois Park. The event is free, and organizers recommend you register online and also bring a dish of your choice.

The Big Table has support from the Global Human Project as well as the Louisville Metro Office for Globalization. Even Mayor Greg Fischer is on board.

“Something amazing happens when people sit down together and eat — they connect,” he said in a press release. “It’s an act of compassion, inclusion and welcome. We share food, space and conversation, and in that process we build a better understanding of each other.”

We Are Louisville is a coalition that hopes to create a more connected Louisville, especially across various beliefs and backgrounds. And what better way to connect than over a casserole?

“A community has everything it needs in order to thrive, it just needs to be more connected to itself. That’s the purpose of The Big Table,” said Jud Hendrix, executive director of the Global Human Project and co-creator of the event. “We hope The Big Table will spur a variety of other creative events to weave the fabric of our community.”

Organizers also are hoping to break a world record — according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest potluck was attended by 3,264 people in India. Surely Louisville can break that record — so start baking those cookies or cooking that ham.

The Big Table will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1, at Iroquois Park behind the amphitheater. It is free to attend for all ages, but you should register online so organizers can plan for seating. You should bring a dish, serving utensils for your dish, a beverage (no alcohol) and your dish’s recipe. Guests will be sat in tables of eight to allow for better conversation.

Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."