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World Grits Festival dishes out heaping helpings of family fun
The Charleston Post and Courier ^ | 04/17/05 | Deneshia Graham

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."  


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: dixie; dixielist; dixierats; food; grits; hickslop; idiots; kissmygrit; mornonicpost; redneckers
YUM!GRITS!
1 posted on 04/17/2005 9:33:22 AM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

2 posted on 04/17/2005 9:37:52 AM PDT by kingattax
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To: smoothsailing

"...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?


3 posted on 04/17/2005 9:40:33 AM PDT by cloud8
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To: kingattax
GRITS, THE OTHER WHITE MEAT!

8^)

4 posted on 04/17/2005 9:42:21 AM PDT by smoothsailing (Qui Nhon Turtle Co.)
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To: smoothsailing

5 posted on 04/17/2005 9:43:49 AM PDT by april15Bendovr
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To: cloud8

Wrungin is Southern shuckin.


6 posted on 04/17/2005 9:44:12 AM PDT by smoothsailing (Qui Nhon Turtle Co.)
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To: smoothsailing

Were they being served by a trashy lady named Flo?


7 posted on 04/17/2005 9:46:44 AM PDT by Clemenza (Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms: The Other Holy Trinity)
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To: stainlessbanner

dixie ping :o)


8 posted on 04/17/2005 9:50:14 AM PDT by cyborg
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To: Clemenza
WELL, KISS MY GRIT !!!

8^)

9 posted on 04/17/2005 10:02:28 AM PDT by smoothsailing (Qui Nhon Turtle Co.)
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To: Clemenza
BTW: What was up with Flo? Were we really supposed to think she was hot? I got more turned on by Bea F--ckin' Arthur for Crissake...

Anyway, I once had oysters tossed in grits. It was delicious.

10 posted on 04/17/2005 10:05:58 AM PDT by Clemenza (Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms: The Other Holy Trinity)
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To: smoothsailing
I'm a Yankee, born and raised, but I luuuuuv grits.

.

11 posted on 04/17/2005 10:17:30 AM PDT by oh8eleven
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To: smoothsailing

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!


12 posted on 04/17/2005 10:39:39 AM PDT by rogue yam
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To: rogue yam

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.


13 posted on 04/17/2005 10:46:16 AM PDT by ops33 (Retired USAF Senior Master Sergeant)
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To: smoothsailing
There's a tradition in 'Spirit' Drum & Bugle Corps that grits are served on the day of Finals. In the '80s, when I was a member, they had bumper stickers with the Spirit Drum Corps Logo and 'Grits - Breakfast of Champions'.
14 posted on 04/17/2005 12:21:11 PM PDT by real saxophonist (Jane Fonda might as well make her gravestone a urinal. Semper Fi)
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To: smoothsailing

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.


15 posted on 04/17/2005 2:14:57 PM PDT by maxwellp
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To: maxwellp

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".


16 posted on 04/17/2005 5:24:46 PM PDT by hillyes
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To: gulfcoast6

Toby, this one is for you and all grits lovers!!!


17 posted on 04/17/2005 5:46:34 PM PDT by Carolinamom
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To: Carolinamom

Now those folks know how to have a festival, GRITS, THE MOTHER OF ALL FOODS.


18 posted on 04/18/2005 2:03:18 AM PDT by gulfcoast6 (Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is yet to come, today is here now, enjoy it.)
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To: 3rd Inf Rgt; smug; TexConfederate1861; peacebaby; DixieOklahoma; kalee; dljordan; Da Bilge Troll; ..

Git You Some!


19 posted on 04/18/2005 7:05:19 AM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: stainlessbanner

thanks for the grits ping.

blue cheese grits
garlic grits
baked grits
twice baked grits
cheese grits
grits and tomatoes
grits casserole
sausage grits
grits and dove with gravy
fried grits


20 posted on 04/18/2005 7:09:54 AM PDT by peacebaby (Carpe dune!)
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To: smoothsailing
The History Of Grits

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.

21 posted on 04/18/2005 7:14:19 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam

"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.


22 posted on 04/18/2005 7:16:58 AM PDT by peacebaby (Carpe dune!)
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To: stainlessbanner
When I was doing a bit of traveling courtesy of Uncle Sam, I had the dubious privilege of eating at a number of Army mess halls. I love grits, but I learned quickly to NEVER get them north of the Potomac River. It seems that a lot of the cooks are actually local civilians and only the Southerners know how to cook grits properly. In the north, the grits were either watery or like half-cured concrete.
23 posted on 04/18/2005 7:22:25 AM PDT by RebelBanker (To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!)
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To: smoothsailing
...and then, Dr John Gorrie invented refigeration and air conditioning in Apalachicola, Florida.
24 posted on 04/18/2005 7:28:11 AM PDT by blam
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To: smoothsailing
...and then, Dr John Gorrie invented refigeration and air conditioning in Apalachicola, Florida.
25 posted on 04/18/2005 7:28:54 AM PDT by blam
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To: peacebaby

Grits is groceries.


26 posted on 04/18/2005 7:32:19 AM PDT by smug (Federalism is tyranny)
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To: stainlessbanner

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...


27 posted on 04/18/2005 7:36:42 AM PDT by billbears (Deo Vindice)
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To: RebelBanker

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!


28 posted on 04/18/2005 7:40:07 AM PDT by peacebaby (Carpe dune!)
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To: billbears
Fresh fish fried in cornmeal 'till crisp and served with grits fixed any which way -- Ummmm
29 posted on 04/18/2005 2:33:11 PM PDT by varina davis
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