Pull your sweatpants up nice and high, duct tape the bottoms to your legs, and turn your hoodie around because we’re about to attend the world-famous Rolling in the Grits contest. Oh, I’m sorry, you’ve never heard of it? Well, you better get your calendar out, because you’re about to be busy visiting grit heaven April 17th-19th.

When you find out that your town is eating more grits than any other town in the nation, why not celebrate it? That’s what St. George, South Carolina has been doing every April since 1986! One of our new favorite go-to creators for uplifting content has sent their foods editor to give their main goopy event a try. So, on this edition of Saturdays Around the World, we’re coming along!

You may want to bring a poncho if you aren’t participating, it seems to get a little messy…

Image: Photo of grits in a bowl with an egg on top!

Shhhhh… these grits aren’t from South Carolina. They were made at a Vermont State Park by Suzanne Podhaizer who so kindly shared her glorious grits creation with us. Suzanne is a Vermont-based chef, farmer, journalist, cooking educator, and someone who throws an egg on her food so you know she’s wise. Thanks, Suzanne!

Grits: More Than A Breakfast Food

Grits are a staple in southern cooking, gracing plates with their delightfully creamy, nostalgically lumpy texture, and ability to sport all sorts of toppings. (If you haven’t had good grits yet, trust me, they’re worth throwing an entire festival around.)

And in St. George, South Carolina they seem to really, really like grits. As the tale goes, after hearing word that their residents eat the most grits per capita than any other place in the world (which is quite the accomplishment in a state that declared this boiled cornmeal dish their official food 1), they decided to throw a weekend-long celebration for them every year. According to them, the World Grits Festival is sometimes estimated to bring in close to 45,000 people to their small town! 2

But the main draw of this weekend isn’t the grits you can eat. No, it’s the ones you can dive into and collect in your pants.

What? I know. The name of the game for the Rolling in the Grits contest is to get as many grits on your person as you can in 10 seconds. Sam O’Brien from Atlas Obscura brings us along with her as she competes first hand in this fast-paced competition. Take a look!

If the idea of seeing other people try things before you do excites you, I highly suggest you pop over to this playlist to watch more of the series, Atlas Obscura Tries. Or, if you just want to see some awesome places around this planet we call home, make sure you head over to their full channel!

Hot Tip: Whenever I travel I always check their website to see what intriguing wonder I should explore while I’m in town! It makes my trip all the more memorable. 

Celebrations Around the World!

We can find almost any reason to celebrate—seriously, there’s a festival for everything! From grits to cheese-rolling to ice, whatever your town is known for, you’ve got the basis for something that we can rally around with pride.

For my hometown, we have the June Dairy Day Festival where you can place a bet on where a dairy cow might decide to leave a plop (that’s a large cow poo for those not in the know), and down the street from the EWC office, the Maple Festival is held every year, where the best maple syrup runs like liquid gold. But of course, like the World Grits Festival, it isn’t really the theme that matters. More importantly, it’s the fact that we are all welcome to take a moment to come out and celebrate what connects our community.

And sometimes, we need a creative event like Rolling in the Grits to get people coming back year after year!

Here’s how some other people are celebrating what they love with their communities!

15 minutes

How Spain’s Human Towers Define Community

How do you build a tower of people 50 feet tall and weighing as much as three elephants? Maybe more importantly, why? The castell builders of Catalonia, Spain are, quite literally, the definition of an uplifting and supportive community.

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12 minutes

To Chase a Cheese

The Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling Festival might be one of the strangest annual events in the world. This is what happens when thousands of people cram onto a hillside to watch brave souls chase a wheel of cheese down an almost vertical incline...

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4 minutes

Take a Moment to Celebrate Joy!

Do we need to be so serious all of the time? Have a look at the fun and hilarious penny farthing race. It certainly reminds us to take a moment to celebrate the power of joy!

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So, what’s happening in your town?!

Do you know? What does your community come together around? How do you feel when you attend your local events? And how do your feelings for your community shift in the weeks afterward?

Send us a link to your hometown festival and tell us about your favorite event over on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!

If you don’t have a celebration specific to your town, maybe… you could start one? Just saying! Many people have started their own festival before. The next one could be from you!

Stay open to new possibilities!

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” —Albert Einstein 

Explore more wonders around the globe! 

Every other Saturday we go on a trip to discover the amazing things happening all over our shared planet. You can explore the awe-inspiring places we’ve been to past by clicking the button below!

Saturdays Around the World with EWC!

Notes:

  1. Vaughan, Kelly. “What Are Grits?” Msn.Com, What Are Grits?, 19 Mar. 2019, www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/foodnews/what-are-grits/ar-BBV3plA. Accessed 10 Mar. 2020.
  2. “About WGF.” World Grits Festival, 2019, worldgritsfestival.com/about-wgf.html. Accessed 10 Mar. 2020.
  3. Atlas Obscura. “South Carolina’s Unique Grits Rolling Competition | Atlas Obscura Tries | Atlas Obscura.” YouTube, 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7ydniBBvZo&feature=emb_title. Accessed 10 Mar. 2020.

Sam Burns

Editor in Chief

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and procurer of cheeses.