Sailors celebrate longer days after Winter Solstice

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GREAT SALT LAKE — Following a 37-year tradition, the Great Salt Lake Yacht Club met to celebrate the Winter Solstice and the longer days that will follow.

Each year after on the Winter Solstice or close to it, boating and sailing enthusiasts get together to celebrate with a big chili cook-off they call the "Bottom of the Pit" party, meaning the sun has reached its lowest point in the sky and will work its way back up until the Summer Solstice.

"What everybody else calls the first day of winter, we call the first day of spring, because the days are getting longer now," said sailor Paul Harrison.

Longer days, for this group, means the sailing season is in sight.

Most of the sailors in the club keep their boats in the water all year long when conditions allow it. But the majority pretty much take the winter months off. This event, though, gets everyone excited again.

"So this is a great time for all of us to get together and see each other and wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year," said club member Jackie Harwood.

Just about everyone brings their home made chili recipes and have a little friendly competition.


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Keith McCord


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