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The Salt Festival

The mineral rich water is boiled off leaving the salt crystals
    Just like the gathering of the long hunters and pioneers two centuries ago, folks gathered at Big Bone Lick State Park near Union, Kentucky on October 17-19 to celebrate the making of salt. That's correct, making of salt or more appropriately the rendering  of salt from the amazingly mineral rich waters that flow to the surface from thousands of feet beneath the ground in this unique place in northern Kentucky.
   
A music maker plays while merchants sell their wares

 The annual festival offers hundreds of school children on one day of the event as well as the general public, a chance to step back in time just for a few moments.  The experience allows one to understand a little better of the materials, inventions and ingenuity of our ancestors. There are folks around the country that reenact the life style down to the cooking, type of food and tools required to carry out the daily activities of living in the 1700's. Entertainment is also provided in the form of music fitting for the times and the folks demonstrating their skills are eager to answer questions, share information as well as perform.

Corn meal making demonstration
    Why a festival in honor of something that we scarcely consider other than checking the package of something to determine the amount of salt contained in the product.  Well, life in our world of North American has not always been that way.  There was a day that salt was one of the most precious commodities sought after in pioneer wilderness days.  Without salt, we all know, we cannot survive. It is a basic mineral required by our bodies to live. In pioneer times is was also the main way to preserve foods and tan hides.  Finding sources of the salt was a major concern for both Native Americans and the newly arriving colonials.
    There are a couple of other Salt related festivals I found by a quick Google search.  One festival is in Norway and one is in Saline Texas honoring the Morton Salt Company. The Salt Festival at Big Bone Lick State Park is the only one that pays tribute to the life and times of early Kentucky pioneers.

Big Bone Lick State Park alone is worth the trip and is perhaps the most famous around the world in the for the paleontology of the site.  Ancient mammoths, mastodons and a lot of other extinct species bones have been and are found at this site. You can learn a little more about the park in the article     Valley of Bones.
     The Salt Festival is an annual event held in October each year and has been held for several years. A good place to check for next years event would be at the Kentucky Events and Festivals Official Site. This is a great site covering all the upcoming scheduled events around the state.

    

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