Spring Forward: Burn Your Socks!

Bob Turner, the original sock-burner, will be the guest of honor at THE BURNING OF THE SOCKS celebration of Spring in Georgetown, South Carolina on Sunday, March 16, 2014 from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.burning_of_the_socks_001

The event is a “fun”draiser for the South Carolina Maritime Museum, where folks from all over the state will treated to a pig pickin’ with all the fixins, libations, music by The Blue Plantation Band, and door prizes. Ed Piotrowski, Chief Meteorlologist for WPDE, will be our Master of Ceremonies. Bob Turner, the original sock burner from Annapolis, MD, will be our guest of honor.

The cost is $25 each for members and $30 for non- (but soon to be) members.

According to the South Carolina Maritime Museum website, “the Burning of the Socks has become a coastal tradition, dating back to the mid-1980’s in Annapolis, MD. There, Bob Turner managed a boatyard. While working on other people’s boats all winter, his socks collected sawdust, bottom paint, caulk, fiberglas resins, and other boat yard leavings. In other words, his socks would stand up when he took them off at night.

One year, on the first day of Spring, Bob removed his socks, put them in a paint tray, sprinkled them with lighter fluid and set them on fire. Then he drank a beer to celebrate.

And so the the tradition began and there are now sock burnings in  boating towns across the country.

To commemorate the tradition, “Ode to the Sock Burners” was composed by Jefferson Holland of Annapolis in 1995. The ode is read every year when the socks are lit at coastal parties.

Here is our Georgetown version:

Them Georgetown boys got an odd tradition
When the sun sinks to its Equinox position.
They build a little fire down along the docks,
They doff their shoes, and they burn their winter socks.
Yes, they burn their socks at the Equinox.
You might think that’s peculiar, but I think it’s not.
See, they’re the same socks they put on last fall,
And never took ‘em off to wash ‘em, not at all…
So, they burn their socks at the Equinox
In a little ol’ fire burning nice and hot.
Some think incineration is the only solution,
‘Cause washin’ ‘em contributes to Sampit pollution.
Through the spring and the summer and into the fall,
They go around not wearin’ any socks at all,
Just stinky bare feet stuck in old deck shoes,
Whether out on the water or sippin’ a brew.
So if you sail into the Harbor on the 17th of March,
And you smell Limburger sautéed with laundry starch,
You’ll know you’re downwind of the Georgetown docks,
Where they’re burning their socks for the Equinox.

So gather up your crusty ol’ winter socks, come to the South Carolina Maritime Museum on Sunday, March 16, and set your piggies free.

Tickets can be purchased at the SC Maritime Museum. For any questions call 843-520-0111.”

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