Residents of Prestwick gathered for a “Burning of the Socks” get together. This funny tradition has spread from coast to coast in the United States. The history of why and how this event started is listed below. Our community has now joined in this fun filled symbolic event.
The annual sock burning began in the Spring of 1978, when, after a snowy winter, boatbuilder Bob Turner bid his oppressive sock-wearing days farewell for the summer by throwing them into a campfire. What was an act of defiance turned into tradition, and this weekend marinas and yacht clubs around the country will celebrate the return of Spring, Sperry topsiders, flip flops, and best of all: boating season. As Turner stated to Baltimore Magazine, he was amazed at what a lasting impression he’s had, stating, “It was never meant to be taken seriously. It just says, ‘Enough with the socks! Time to go sailing!'”
Fast-forward to 2018, where the sock-burning represents a time to clear out the yacht club cobwebs and embrace spring. On each coast we spotted events with everything from cookouts and bonfires to golf-cart parades, boatyard clean-ups, yard sales, and polar bear plunges.
To get close to where the Burning of the Socks began, head to the Annapolis Maritime Museum for live music, an oyster roast, and a recitation of the poem “Ode to Equinox,” written by the museum’s former executive director, Jeff Holland
Feet, amirite? Whether you see them as fetish-worthy or foul, in a public arena certain basic guidelines keep things upbeat instead of uncouth. A few quick pro-tips to help you toe (heh) the line:
Prettying Up. Pedicures: They’re not just for dames! Some sock-burning events are attended by local press, so pamper your ten little lords or ladies before those high-res photos come back to haunt you in the daily paper.
Defining “Socks.” The term can be confusing, so to clear things up: under no circumstances should you attempt to burn stockings, panties, boxers, briefs, spanx, crocs, bras, belts, garters, suspenders, or thermal underwear. Nor should you attempt to cross the Burning of the Socks with a Viking Funeral; leave your ex’s belongings or correspondence at home so a bunch of barefoot sailors aren’t left bewildered as you cry into the stinky flames. Socks made of synthetic materials are frowned upon, so keep it to cotton or wool and refrain from fleece or other tech materials.
The Ceremony. As you remove your socks, you may be invited to address the crowd, which after several ciders should be no problem. This address should not include deeply personal revelations about yourself or others, your terrible poetry, a garbage rendition of Wonderwall, or any attempt to climb or be thrown into the fire.
Remaining barefoot once you’ve burned your socks is frowned upon. Either sneak clean socks back on or put your shoes back on sock-less. Do not remove additional clothing.