sock monkey town

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?

Sock Monty  – (April 11, 2006)  

I have to go there!!! I'm a Canadian Sock Monkey, which is to say, not a Rockford Red Heel Sock, but the Canadian Sock Monkey is just as long-loved, in fact, predates the Rockford Socks, and how could I not go and hug my wonderful American cousins!

Will your road trip car, bus or train come through Toronto on it's way there? May I join?

Tamara  – (April 13, 2006)  

I really wanted to go to this! Maybe next year. :)

Very nice 'blog Magpie and Cake.
I have a thing for sock monkeys too.

This is my site
I have a few free patterns for sock monkey clothes available.

j. –   – (April 16, 2006)  

you've got to be kidding!

this is hilarious!!!

Georgie  – (June 19, 2006)  

Bless my cotton sock monkey ;)

Anonymous –   – (July 24, 2008)  

This is the most awesomest thing that has ever been done for sock monkeys!

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