Skip to comments.World Grits Festival dishes out heaping helpings of family fun
Posted on 04/17/2005 9:33:21 AM PDT by smoothsailing
World Grits Festival dishes out heaping helpings of family fun
BY DENESHIA GRAHAM
ST. GEORGE--Someone by the name of George got dibs on this small, Dorchester County town before grits could. Regardless of where it got its name, the town's heart belongs to the distinctly Southern staple. The love affair has been celebrated for two decades.
Day two of the World Grits Festival took place Saturday. Thousands of grits-goers from near and far, some armed with flimsy paper plates of fried food, filed past one another, each heading to a variety of events.
Commencing at 7 a.m., activities included a continental breakfast, a 5K run, grits sampling, a rolling-in-the-grits contest for kids and an afternoon grits-eating face-off. Various musical acts provided nighttime entertainment. Food vendors boasted elephant ears and funnel cakes.
Dorchester resident Nikki Day said she comes to the festival to run into old friends and enjoy a sausage dog. Like most others in attendance, she has a longtime love affair with grits."Oh Lord," she said when asked how long she's been eating grits. "My whole life."
According to aficionados from this bedroom community, St. George residents consume more grits per capita than any other folks in the world.
Demeterius Smith, a minister at a Reevesville church and a Dorchester native, said the festival is as cohesive for the community as grits themselves. "Everybody's out here," he said, pointing to the children, adults, black and white festival-goers. "I like the fact that the small town knows how to celebrate."
Frank Wamer had an educational role at the festival. Wamer manned the Old Grist Mill. The wooden contraption attached to a late 1940s tractor produced two tons of grits for sale at the festival. "The rest of the year this old thing sits in the barn," Wamer said.
Vendors, such as Reatha Harris of Charlotte, lined the streets. Other vendors had encouraged her to sell her handbags, vases and figurines here. She sat on a blue plastic crate in the early afternoon waiting for sales to pick up. "They've got a lot of things going on," she said, sizing up the crowd.
Roger Yow of Moncks Corner rekindled his relationship with the festival after a three-year hiatus. "It seemed to triple in size," he said. He said he most enjoys the family time the festival allows for.
Festival Chairman Roger Myers said the festival has endured because it's fun for the entire family. At one point, a row of contestants seated on a stage made from a flatbed trailer furiously wrung corn in a shucking competition. Others tapped and clapped and swayed around a group of gospel singers.
Elsewhere, adults leaned on fences, watching their children go around and around on amusement park-style rides, while other children competed for a stuffed animal prize at a booth.
"Just look at the crowd," Myers said. "It's enjoyable for everybody."
"...contestants seated on a stage made from a flatbed trailer furiously wrung corn in a shucking competition."
How exactly does one wring corn? And why?
Wrungin is Southern shuckin.
Were they being served by a trashy lady named Flo?
dixie ping :o)
Anyway, I once had oysters tossed in grits. It was delicious.
I'm heading down to Oxford MS next week to visit my cousin. Will stop in at City Grocery on the square for some shrimp and grits. What I'm talkin' about!
I was raised in Charleston and love shrimp and grits. Everytime I go back for a visit I make sure I get some. Last trip we found a small shack of a resturant north of Mt. Pleasant served the best shrimp and grits I ever had, and that's saying a lot.
I first tasted grits during a trip my husband and I made driving to Florida. I loved it and gritted the whole way to Florida. In Coral Gables we found some fantastic Cuban restaurants and I Cubaned out there. Something else to love about America - its variety of different foods. I sometimes buy grits at our local Price Chopper here in New York State. I cook it and add butter, but it's not as good as the grits down south.
I remember when I was in the Navy. One morning in chow line
line the guy in front of me was from N.Y. Grits were being served. The guy from N.Y. said "what is that,cream of wheat?". The guy behind me was from Ga. and he said-"hell no,that's Georgia ice cream".
Toby, this one is for you and all grits lovers!!!
Now those folks know how to have a festival, GRITS, THE MOTHER OF ALL FOODS.
Git You Some!
thanks for the grits ping.
blue cheese grits
twice baked grits
grits and tomatoes
grits and dove with gravy
Grits. They are an integral part of our food history. For nearly four hundred years, families have been enjoying this delicious food. Turner Catledge, former editor of the New York Times, called grits "the first truly American food." Grits date as far back as 1607, when the colonists came ashore at Jamestown, Virginia. They were met by friendly Native Americans offering steaming hot bowls of "rockahominie," which was softened maize seasoned with salt and animal fat. It was here that our passion for grits was born.
Throughout the years, grits have developed into a comfort food that many families enjoy not only for breakfast, but as a delicious side dish for meals as well. Known as the "Southern oatmeal" before air conditioning was invented; grits were preferred over oatmeal because they could withstand the heat and humidity found in the South.
Grits have also been credited with getting many Southern families through the Depression Era of the 1930's. Since grits were plentiful and inexpensive, they were a blessing during this bleak time in America's history.
As times have changed, grits have evolved from a regional food often used for survival to a food of choice and comfort in many American homes. Their convenience and delicious taste have made them a favorite for busy moms and their children. Grits have also gone upscale, being featured on menus in many five-star restaurants throughout the country.
"Grits have gone upscale....'"
The huge trend in the food at today's receptions, i.e. weddings, is a grits bar where grits are served in champayne glasses and topped with condiments such as bacon, tomatoes, cheese, etc.
Grits is groceries.
Man now I'm hungry. Grits and gravy (or with a dab of butter), pork chops, maybe some fried okra, and sweet tea could be my complete diet for a long time...
A story my husband told me: After months on a Navy ship, the cook got really wierd and through a huge spoonful of grits on another mate who was severely burned.
Grits as a weapon!