Prattville YMCA Holds Annual Great Grits Cookoff

If you love grits, Prattville was the place to be Saturday. The Prattville YMCA held its annual Great Grits Cookoff and Festival event, which provides scholarships to kids through its “Coach a Child Scholarship Fund.” Assistant General Director Keith Cantrell said more than 40 teams signed up to be a part of the event.

“We’ve got businesses. We’ve got churches. We have restaurants– all here competing in their own division to see who makes the best grits in the area,” Cantrell said.

The cookoff started seven years ago as an idea from Bob and Hootie Gipson, the owners of Gipson’s Tire Pros. From grits with Conecuh sausage and smoked gouda cheese to grits mixed with deer meat, there was a wide variety to choose from: “We got wild game grits. Okay, so we got some cheese grits, and we made several different deer meat options. We have deer tenderloin wrapped in bacon,” Samuel Mcglamry of the Prattville Fire Department said.

The grits were a hit for everyone who came out to the “Y” despite the rainy weather: “Everybody needs to go and check out the Hogwarts grits, yes. And the firemen- their grits are spectacular,” visitor Lashun Spencer said.

Money raised from the cookoff allows kids or the elderly to come to the Prattville YMCA or participate in programs at the Y, who otherwise would not be able to.

“A lot of single parent need childcare for their children in the afternoon and the summer, so mom can work or dad can work,” Cantrell said.  “A lot of senior adults on fixed incomes that struggle month to month.”

More than $180,000 in scholarships have been give out this year. Alabama News Network’s Chris Searcy, Samantha Williams, Shane Butler and Ellis Eskew participated in this year’s Great Grits Cookoff.

The Prattville Fire Department won the overall grits cookoff.

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