More than 11,500 members of Alpha Kappa Alpha are expected in Charlotte for the sorority’s biennial convention — a seven-day event that will include a record-setting dinner at the Charlotte Convention Center. (Photo: Glenn H. Burkins for Qcitymetro)

Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority began arriving in Charlotte Friday for their biennial conference, the 66th Boule, at the Charlotte Convention Center.

The convention ends Friday, July 18.

On Thursday, July 17, convention center employees and volunteers are scheduled to serve dinner to more than 10,500 AKA members — the largest dinner event in the center’s 19-year history, surpassing even the Democratic National Convention (DNC) events in 2012, according to city officials.

Convention center director Steve Bagwell said the AKA dinner will require more than 24 hours of prep, setup and breakdown, with nearly 800 volunteers and 425 servers. More than 170,000 pieces of china, glass and silver will be used, along with 7.7 tons of food products, including:

  • 2,000 pounds of salad mix.
  • 4,000 pounds of potatoes.
  • 2,500 pounds of green beans.
  • 2,500 pounds of chicken.
  • 4,375 pounds of short ribs.
  • 200 gallons of sauce.

More than 11,500 AKA members are registered for the conference, the first in the sorority’s 106-year history to be held in Charlotte or North Carolina.

On Friday, members of the sorority joined Tree Campus USA in planning 35 trees on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University. The project was funded by Toyota and the Arbor Day Foundation.

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