Table salt will receive top billing in a series of festivities and activities planned for the coming weekend by the management of the Southwest Coast National Scenic Area under the Tourism Bureau.

The “2011 Qigu Salt Art Festival” (七股鹽雕藝術季), which promises to make Yunlin, Chiayi, and Tainan a “white” tourist destination and drum up business for the local salt industry, is slated to open on Saturday, Aug. 6 at the Salt Mountain Theme Park and Taiwan Salt Museum in Qigu, Tainan.

On Saturday evening, the seventh day of the seventh month on the lunar calendar, romance will beckon as the day is also the Double-Seventh Festival, the Chinese answer to the Feb. 24 St. Valentine's Day. TANK, the Taiwan king of love songs, will be on hand at a “Double Seventh Evening Variety Show” to serenade the ladies and entertain fans. Other entertainers, including rock groups Kaka and Sigma, will perform hit songs. A fireworks show will wrap up the event.

To promote salt sculpture as an art form, the organizers are giving away generous monetary prizes to winning entries in a “Salt Sculpture Creation Contest.” First prize is NT$30,000, second prize NT$20,000, and third prize NT$10,000.

Lovers and married couples are invited to participate in a “Kissing atop the Salt Mountain” activity. The first 100 couples to enter and kiss for 100 seconds on the Salt Mountain will be given prizes.

The first 100 couples dressed in twin clothes for lovers to visit the “Taiwan Salt Museum” will be given free admission during the Festival, the first 500 couples to say “I love you” atop the Salt Mountain on the Double-Seventh evening will be given hukubukuro (fortune bags). Visitors to the Salt Mountain Theme Park, the Taiwan Salt Museum and the Taiwan Salt Lohas Village with their passes stamped thrice will be given free presents.

Other activities during the festival will include a “Salt Sculpture Exhibition,” a “Qigu Concert,” a “Salt Delicacies Demonstration and Sampling,” and a “Salt Products DIY” activity.

Co-organizers of the festival include the Tourism Bureau under the Tainan City Department of Culture and Tourism, and Taiyen Co., Inc.

Those seeking more information can call 06-7861000, ext. 248, or visit the festival website at:

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