Sorry, Georgia! This Tiny South Carolina Town Is Home to the World Grits Festival
“There are some towns in Georgia that claim they eat more grits, but I don’t know if anybody’s done any research on that.”
There are two types of Southerners. Those who love grits. And those who love grits enough to venture to the flyspeck town of St. George, South Carolina to partake in the festivities at the annual World Grits Festival.
With a population of around 2,151 residents, it's the tiny county seat with a big appetite — last year's festival drew an estimated 45,000 grits geeks. This year's bonanza will be held on April 12th, 13th, and 14th and include a 5K race, grits eating contest, festival parade, carnival, dunking booth, rolling in the grits contest, live music, and much more.
If you're wondering how St. George became the home base for this massive affair, Orangeburg, SC's The Times and Democrat shares one popular theory: "According to legend, in 1986 the people living in and around St. George ate more grits per capita than any other place in the world. So St. George was crowned the World Grits Eating Champion and the World Grits Festival was born," explains a recent story on the World Grits Festival.
“People in this town eat a lot of grits,” Faye Utsey, a festival volunteer, is quoted as saying in the same article. “There are some towns in Georgia that claim they eat more grits, but I don’t know if anybody’s done any research on that.”
WATCH: How To Make the Perfect Pot of Grits
Now that you can't stop thinking about shrimp and grits or your favorite buttermilk stone-ground grits recipe, consider that the festival, now in its 34th year, has free admission for all who arrive with a hungry belly.
Who's joining us on a Lowcountry grand grits tour?