The Salty Coo is the emblem of the Nithraid festival, a model of a cow that is covered in salt. It is the focal point of the festival procession that starts from the town centre, traveling down to the festival village on the Mill Green. The cow, in previous years, is then hoisted onto a platform in the middle of the river that represents the finish line of the race, it remains in place until the race is completed and is lowered into the water. The ritual is to represent the heritage of Dumfries as a trading town, this is where the cattle used to cross the River Nith to reach The White Sands.
Also, this is where the fresh water turns to salt water at the change of the tide. It has become a one of the main hooks of the event, as it is a unique ritual and attracts a lot of attention and engagement from the community and festival visitors. Every year the ritual and procession are completely different, with a variety of artists creating the journey of the Coo. We have had clowns battling Vikings, sacred shapes and dancing jackals, you never know what to expect with our Salty Coo.