‘Burning of the Socks’ has become a coastal tradition

  • Monday, March 10, 2014

The Burning of the Socks Celebration will take place at the SC Maritime Museum on March 16.

The SC Maritime Museum at 729 Front St. in Georgetown will celebrate the “Burning of the Socks” on March 16 from 4 to 7 p.m. There will be hors d’oeuvres, pig with all the fixin’s and dessert. The Blue Plantation Band will provide the music.

The master of the sock burning ceremony will be Ed Piotrowski, chief meteorologist for WPDE News Channel 15. Special guest will be Bob Turner, original sock burner, wooden boat builder and sailor.

Purchase your tickets at the SC Maritime Museum or call 843-0111 for more information.

So what’s the “Burning of the Socks” all about?

You haven’t been on your boat (or on the links, or in the surf – you get the picture) since Christmas. Tension is mounting and you have little energy within you. You are eating more to relieve stress.

One effective way to lower these blahs, according to psychologists, is to relax. But the very best way to re-energize and increase your optimism is to burn your winter socks.

How’s that?

Yes, you can both eat more and relax by burning your winter socks at the South Carolina Maritime Museum’s third annual “Burning of the Socks” celebration on March 16th scheduled just four days before the Vernal Equinox.

It’s become a coastal tradition, dating back to the early 1980s in Annapolis, MD. There, Bob Turner, who managed a boatyard, got tired of the winter blahs. While working on other people’s boats all winter, his socks collected sawdust, bottom paint, caulk, fiberglass resin, 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, he took off his socks, put them in a paint tray, sprinkled on some lighter fluid, lit them, and had a beer to celebrate.

And so the tradition began.

There are now sock burnings in boating towns across the country.


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