Salley ready to strut its chitlins again

Salley is a small town, but it's well-known one weekend out of the year.

"There have been stories in the Paris Tribune, and I've done live interviews with the BBC in London. Crews filming the beauty pageant came out of Burbank, Calif.," Mayor Bob Salley said of the 43rd annual Chitlin' Strut.

He has served as mayor of the town for 14 years.

Held each Thanksgiving weekend, the Chitlin' Strut draws thousands of patrons to the town of 410.

"They come from every cotton pickin' where," Mr. Salley said.

According to www.chitlinstrut.com, about 25,000 people descend on the town just after Thanksgiving. About 10,000 pounds of chitterlings will be prepared during the weekend.

"I love the fried chitterlings," the mayor said. "I wouldn't eat a boiled one."

The "very good quality" pork product comes from North Carolina. Plates will be sold for $8 throughout the day Saturday.

The main part of the festival is Saturday, but a carnival and the Chitlin' Idol contest will be held Friday. Activities begin around 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast.

There will be a parade at 10 a.m., a gospel singing at 11 a.m., an antique tractor show at noon and a hog-calling contest at 3 p.m. Aarts, crafts and concessions will be sold.

Mr. Salley said a group of professional eaters has told him it would like to have a chitterling-eating contest. He needs a sponsor to make it happen.

For more information about the Chitlin' Strut, call the town of Salley at (803) 258-3485.

Reach Charmain Brackett at charmain.brackett@augustachronicle.com.