ST. GEORGE, S.C. (WCBD) – Calling all grits lovers, you’ll want to visit St. George this weekend for the World Grits Festival.

The annual festival is a big deal for the Dorchester County town. While they didn’t host the World Grits Festival for a few years because of the coronavirus pandemic, the popular event is underway now.

“The Grits Festival started back in 1986; the salesman came to Piggly Wiggly, and they said St. George sold the most grits in the whole entire world,” said Ned Berry, co-chair, World Grits Festival.

That is when the World Grits Festival began.

“A lot of grits to be eaten. Shrimp and grits, chicken and grits, anything to do with grits they can eat. We’ve got all kind of vendors; we have the wheel barrel race.”

They used to have ‘rolling in the grits,’ but that will not happen this year because of COVID-19 concerns. But they will have grits eating content Saturday afternoon.

Berry said the festival is a big economic boost for St. George. Hotels fill up and thirty to thirty-five thousand people are expected to be in town to enjoy the festival.

Na-Khia Mangano, 14, is excited about her personal economic boost by selling her homemade candles, cups, jewelry, and resin products.

“I call this a pop-up shop kind of but I make more money at the pop-up shops than I do when I go to the flea market,” she explained.

New Grace United Methodist Church sells meals with grits as a fundraiser for their church.

“Would you ever have grits with lumps in them? Never would I ever have grits with lumps in it that is considered not good grits,” said Brenda Martino-Harris, who was cooking grits at the festival.

Brenda says there are certain grits standards.

“I had someone call me this morning and say you better bring some milk, I said no I do not put milk in grits. I do not put sugar on grits but for some people, it’s a choice, we have choices in life so this is what we will do.”

There will also be plenty of fried fish and chicken just waiting for your plate of grits.

“Come on down and have a good time at the Worlds Grits Festival in St. George, South Carolina.”

The festival will be open until 8:00 p.m. Friday. They are open again Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.