“Burning of the Socks” brings age old maritime ritual to Beaufort

An age old maritime tradition becomes a new event in Beaufort, North Carolina. The Beaufort Development Association plans to hold a “Burning of the Socks” Festival on the first day of Spring, Wednesday, March 20, 2019.

The burning of the socks began in the mid-1970s when a sailor named Bob Turner, upon leaving his job at the boatyard on the first day of spring, decided to burn his socks in tribute to the coming warmer weather. When he later became the owner of the Annapolis Harbor Boatyard, he invited his employees to stay after work on the first day of spring, burn their socks, and drink a beer in honor of the occasion.

Turner’s personal custom caught on with others and became a local tradition. The Beaufort Development Association has organized this event at which people will drink beer, eat oysters, and burn socks, all in the name of driving away winter and welcoming spring.

To celebrate the onset of the boating season, the Beaufort Development Association is planning to host a sock-burning event, a traditional maritime rite, for the first time at the Crystal Coast, according to Susan Sanders, president of the BDA. They are inviting boaters and the public to join them in burning their socks from 6 to 8 p.m. Participants can bring a pair of old socks to burn or a new pair to donate. The event will be at Front Street Village.

“The purpose of the sock burning is to shed your winter socks and celebrate the upcoming spring equinox, which is March 20,” said Sanders. “Since Beaufort is a boating community, we welcome the coming of spring and the boating season.”

Bob Turner plans to attend the Beaufort event.

Beaufort, North Carolina has received a number of accolades over the last few years. After going to the “Burning of the Socks” Festival, you’ll understand why Beaufort was named to the list of “America’s Quirkiest Towns” in September 2014 by Travel + Leisure magazine. We guarantee this event will knock your socks off!

Tickets are on-sale now. $25 per person, includes the oyster roast and beverages. Click here to purchase tickets.

Dates: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Hours: 6 – 8 p.m.
Price: $25, includes oyster roast and beverages.
Parking: Free parking at Front Street Village.
Address: Front Street Village, 2400 Lennoxville Road, Beaufort, NC, 28516.
Telephone: 252-241-4485
Website: www.beaufortnc.com
Social Media: Facebook
Need to Know: This is the second fundraiser for the Beaufort Development Association.

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