St. George, South Carolina
St. George, South Carolina, touts itself as the Grits Capital of the World. The 2.500 residents of the small farm community consume more grits per capita than any other place in the world. To pay tribute to this claim, the town celebrates with its annual World Grits Festival.
Now entering its 25th year, the World Grits Festival attracts the entire town and tens of thousands of visitors, all of whom gather in St. George's town square to eat, buy and even roll themselves in grits. Lifelong resident Roger Myers is the chairman for the festival and says the rolling contest has become a crowd favorite. "[We] weigh you before you go into the grits, and then [we] weigh you when you leave,"he says. "Whoever picked up the most weight [in grits] wins."
Myers says the town truly does live up to its grits reputation and that some eat it every day. "People like white or yellow grits and [have it] normally for breakfast. ... Some put ketchup,eggs, milk or butter in it."
St. George locals say they have embraced the culture of their town and love meeting tourists from around the country. Residents also pride themselves on being a town full of friendly people. As is a part of the small town playbook, Myers says, everyone knows your name. "Everybody knows everybody's business pretty well— more than they need to sometimes."
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