The South Carolina Maritime Museum invites you to usher in the coming of spring and the arrival of boating season at the sixth annual Burning of the Socks on Thursday, March 23, 2017 from 5:30 pm until 8:30 pm. In addition to the sock burning festivities, we will offer Hard Hat Tours of our museum renovations (MORE ABOUT THAT HERE), and serve up some delicious hors d’oeuvres, seafood gumbo, landlubber gumbo, beer, wine, liquor, and live music. Be sure to bring your winter socks to burn in the fire.
The Burning of the Socks tradition began in the mid-1980s at a boatyard in Annapolis, Maryland. Captain Bob Turner, who managed the boatyard, was forced by cold weather to wear socks with his Sperry Topsiders while he worked on OPB’s (Other People’s Boats) during the long winter months.
One year, on the first day of spring, Captain Bob ceremoniously removed his socks, placed them on a paint tray, doused them with lighter fluid and set them on fire. Then he drank a beer to celebrate! So the spring tradition of sock burning began. Now there are sock burnings in coastal communities across the country.
Captain Bob Turner and his family now live in Pawleys Island and are active members of our community. Captain Bob and his family will be our special guests at this year’s sock burning.
Tickets for this “fun”raiser are $20 for museum members and $25 for non-members. Kids 12 and under are free. All proceeds will benefit the SC Maritime Museum.
For more information or to purchase tickets call the South Carolina Maritime Museum at 843-520-0111. Tickets may also be purchased online HERE.
To commemorate the sock burning tradition, “Ode to the Sock Burners” was composed by Jefferson Holland of Annapolis in 1995. The ode is read every year when 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 23rd 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.