The good people of Rockford, Illinois gathered this weekend to celebrate a cornerstone of modern society: the sock monkey.
The Sock Monkey Madness Festival took place this weekend at Midway Village. A full weekend of sock monket themed events took place:
• Learning how to make your own sock monkey from the famous Rockford Red Heel Sock
• Seeing sock monkey collections from around the country
• Visiting the exhibit "The Missing Link: Socks, Monkeys and Rockford’s Industrial Past"
• Certificate signing by Barbara Gerry, great granddaughter of John Nelson, inventor of the sock knitting machine
• Seeing how sock dolls were made during the Depression
• Miss / Mr. Sockford 2006 Sock Monkey Pageant
• Sock Monkey Hospital where surgeries & check-ups are performed on sock monkeys
• Sock Monkey Olympic Training Course games for kids and their sock monkeys
• Sock Monkey craft room for kids
• Vendors of sock monkeys, accessories, & keepsakes
• Sock monkey book readings, and author signings
• Sock monkeys, sock monkey accessories, and monkey desserts will be available for sale
But wait, there's MORE.
It turns out that Rockford is instrumental to the invention of the sock monkey as we know - and love - it today. Rockford resident John Nelson invented the seamless sock knitting machine back in 1879. The famous Nelson Red Heel sock was made Rockford.
But wait, there's EVEN MORE.
The party doesn't end this weekend. There's also an exhibit on through December 2006 called "The Missing Link: Socks, Monkeys and Rockford’s Industrial Past". The website invites guests to "Enjoy Sock Monkeys, Red-heeled socks, and stories about the sock knitting invention." How could you not?
But wait, there's STILL MORE.
Apparently Rockford was imbroiled in some patent litigation that won Rockford its “Home of the Sock Monkey” title. And the sock monkey used in the case is on display.
But wait. Guess what? MORE MORE MORE.
Rockford also boasts a fine collection of seven foot tall sock monkeys made out of fiberglass.
Road trip, anyone?