People all over the world celebrate different folklores, and Salado is no different. On Saturday, a festival was held to commemorate the legend of the Salado mermaid where about 3,000 participants attended.
According to legend, a young maiden made a bargain with a magical catfish for the love of a particular brave. She married the young warrior, but for one year, at every full moon, she had to swim with the catfish as a mermaid. And, if any human saw her, she would remain a mermaid forever. Alas, on the night of the 12th full moon, a hook caught in her tail fins and she crawled onto the bank to remove it. Her husband spotted her, and the catfish triumphantly dragged her back into the water. She may swim forever beneath the waters of Salado Creek.
The family friendly event started with a parade that begun at Pace Park. It was held in honor of the mermaid and at the same time to recognize local artists Jackie Mills, author, and Troy Kelley, sculptor. After the parade, people spread along the south bank of the Salado Creek to enjoy the festivities. There are mermaids in the creek, stilt walkers, giant bubbles, and jugglers. Also present are face painters, food trucks, arts & activities; and everyone had fun playing games, listening to live music and take part in mermaid-related photo ops.
Ultimately, the goal of the Sirena Festival is to educate children about creek habitat and wildlife (conservation), and raise money for a local nonprofit.