TRADITION LIVES WITH THE 44TH ANNUAL SALT FESTIVAL
The tradition of the 44th annual Grand Saline Salt Festival took place on June 7– 9. I experienced what any other person from the outside sees, and the Salt Festival is more than just another great festival. What I watched and heard was so much more, and I am so grateful this tradition lives on.
The Salt Festival started out to pay tribute to Morton Salt, and Viginia Milam started cooking Chicken and Dressing with turnip greens for the festival years ago. Viginia Milam passed away 10 years ago and the tradition is still going strong. Friends of Viginia Milam sponsored the community lunch on Thursday to pay tribute to her, and the Salt Flats, which is the reason for the festival.
According to Wendy Milam, she remembers that when she lived out on Hwy. 110 she could feel the blast, and hear the roar of the mine. She said that it was estimated that they could supply the world with salt for 20 thousand years. The largest salt domes in North America, which are called the Salt Flats, are located right here in Grand Saline. Morton Salt is the heritage and the backbone of this community and the backbone of the Salt Festival.
The Salt Festival hosts a traditional pageant and this year’s queen was Joslin Miller. The girls are judged by selling the most tickets to the Swing Dance, an interview process with the judges, participation and practices, and poise and presence on stage. The girls that try out are seen doing amazing fund raisers all throughout the year. The first thing I noticed was The Queen. She was seen all throughout the festival handing out prizes and doing all sorts of community activities.
The Salt Festival is about community! I saw families taking care of families, and parents working as a team. I could tell about the bingo games, baking contest, or the Salt Festival’s very own Star Search; but this festival is so much more than that. So next year, if you want to visit the Grand Saline Salt Festival, take that drive out past the skating rink, and take a look at the Salt Flats. Go visit the Salt Palace, lick the salt bricks, and drive past the Morton Salt mine. Pay homage to what makes Grand Saline a unique place to live.