Thousands converge on Salley for Chitlin' Strut

By: Lynnsey Gardner Email
By: Lynnsey Gardner Email

November 25, 2006

For nearly 40 years, folks have been converging on a small South Carolina town for one thing: chitterlings, also known as chitlins. The Chitlin' Strut was packed again this year, drawing people from around the country.

Only 410 people live in Salley, South Carolina, but today the town was busting at the seams with tens of thousands of visitors for the 29th annual Chitlin' Strut.

Chitterlings, made from pig intestines, have been a Southern tradition for over a hundred years. Boiled or fried, they brought people together at the Chitlin' Strut.

"It's like a big family reunion," said Stanley Keith of Lincolnton.

"It's about family," said Vickie Gregory of Greenville. "It's a tradition."

The event is a tradition of food and music.

And because they can't get enough, people like Cleveland Wade make the trip to Salley every year.

"I've been coming since 1975," he told News 12. "if you really want a treat, come on down to Salley!"

"I come every year to smell the chitlins!" said Pet Feester of Greenville.

The smell, like the legend, is what brought Betty Jeffers for the first time.

"I've been hearing about it for years, and I retired from teaching and decided to give this as a vacation to myself," she said.

Delwyn Young traveled two and a half days from Los Angeles for a taste.

"I got my chitlins!" he rejoiced. "Mmm...delicious. If I could find a woman who could cook these...ooo wee!"

The women and men who cook them say they do it all for a good cause.

"We have a fundraiser every year for the baseball team," said Ross Smith of Wagener. "Hats, gloves, sweats. Woo, we sweated today."

It was hard work and fun for everyone who came. And in case you missed it...

"Come down next year...we'll be waiting for you, you hear?"

The annual Chitlin' Strut is held the first Saturday after Thanksgiving every year. People who came this year enjoyed carnival rides, a hog-calling contest, a dance contest, an antique tractor show...and, of course, the chitlins.

For more about Chitlin' Strut, visit their website at http://www.chitlinstrut.com/


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