Some call them potlucks or potlatches. In the Carolinas, they’re called a covered dish. The idea is the same: every attendee brings a prepared food item to share.
They’re filling events. You go in knowing you must sample every dish and will probably go back for seconds, or at least dessert. No one’s dish should go unsampled. You leave with a loosened belt buckle and happy memories. Good food, laughter, a celebration of friendship.