Originally created 11/30/02

Salley Chitlin' Strut's future is in question



This may be the last year chitlin' lovers will be able to strut their stuff, and about the only ones happy about the prospect are the swine.

The Chitlin' Strut has been a tradition in the small town of Salley since 1966.

Is it possible that the town that made fried hog intestines, better know as chitterlings or chitlins, famous around the world has had its fill?

"An announcement will be made after this year's Strut," Mayor Bob Salley said Friday.

He would not elaborate on the specific time of the announcement, nor what will be said.

But he said he was well aware of the grumblings of the rumor mill.

The mayor said health and the increasing popularity of the event have been considerations in terms of his own involvement.

The festival began as a fund-raiser for town Christmas decorations. Attendance neared 1,000 that first year.

These days, the crowd exceeds 50,000 at the event, which has been written about in The New York Times and USA Today, and in overseas publications.

"We are quickly loosing (sic) what remains of the regional variations that once characterized our nation," according to the event's Web site, www.chitlinstrut.com. "The Chitlin' Strut offers people a chance to celebrate what remains of our uniqueness as Southerners."

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Salley Chitlin' Strut

WHERE: Salley, S.C. From Aiken, take U.S. Highway 78 east for two miles, then turn left on South Carolina Highway 302. Travel east 12 miles to Kitchens Mill, then east 10 miles on South Carolina Highway 394 to Salley's downtown.

WHEN: 7 a.m. until midnight today

WEB SITE: Go to www.chitlinstrut.com for a list of events and more details.

Reach Eric Williamson at (803) 279-6895 or eric.williamson@augustachronicle.com.