Thousands expected for 'gritsy' event

WARWICK -- The National Grits Festival is returning for its 14th year.

Given the nature of the decidedly Southern breakfast favorite, the event will get off to an appropriately early start at 7:30 a.m. in Warwick with a grits breakfast at Grits Station. The Arts and Crafts portion of the festival opens at 9 a.m., with various vendors and crafters until 5 p.m.

Throughout the day, live entertainment will be playing and many events are planned, such as a grits cook off, a Quaker grits pit, a Quaker grits eating contest, corn shelling and the grits festival parade.

"We are going to have the biggest and best festival ever. The expected number of visitors is somewhere between 5,000-8,000 people." Robbie Woolbright, event coordinator, said. "New this year is that during the serving of some 500 people at breakfast, we will provide live music and we already have 80 booths of various vendors committed to being at the grits festival."

The grits cookoff is a contest in which participants enter their favorite grits receipes and compete cash prizes that will be awarded in several divisions -- breakfast, main dish, desserts and youth division.

The festival has no admission fees and is aimed as entertainment for the whole family.

Go to www.gritsfest.com for information, or contact Robbie Woolbright (229) 869-5550 or Gale Easton (229) 535-3207 for parade information.