Monkeying around in Sockford

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Hello to all you lovelies out there! This post deals with SO many of my favorite things; the Midwest (obviously), former industrial ::cough rust belt cough:: cities, small town festivals, and my favorite thing under the sun…………SOCK FREAKING MONKEYS!!! So come along with us as we head to “The Forest City” AKA “Rock City” AKA Rockford to totally immerse ourselves in one Hell of quirky festival!

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Rockford, aside from being the third biggest city in the state (it used to be #2 until surpassed by suburban and bland, Aurora) is also the birthplace of the sock monkey. To celebrate this quirky creation, the city of Rockford has been throwing a festival at the historic Midway Village, celebrating their native podiatry-inspired primate, since 2005.

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I’ve been talking about going to this festival for more years than I can remember. Roman Catholics have Vatican City, Muslims have Mecca, and those of us who are sock monkey obsessed fans have Rockford, Illinois! Patti the car is packed, key in her ignition(giggity) and Clarence is in tote, we are off! It’s Winnebago County, or bust!

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Sock Monkey Madness is some serious stuff for this Rust Belt city! Rockford, a posterchild for industrial might in the early part of the 19th century created everything from furniture, (Rockford once held the title of being the 2nd biggest furniture producer in the US), sewing machines, pianos, pottery to good ole fashioned socks. Although in 1992 Nelson Knitting Company shut it’s doors for good, their legacy lives on and sock monkeys are STILL going strong. Though they may be going strong, over years of being handled, loved and tossed about, a sock monkey may not be looking so flawless anymore. Thank goodness Sock Monkey Madness has got you covered!

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So if your sock monkey is looking tired, needing some TLC or possibly needs a full body work up. You came to the right place! A whole section of Midway Village is dedicated to “Sockford General Hospital”, no appointment needed! Just walk on in, and let skilled hands work on your primate friend.

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So many services to get done (and for free!) It’s totally adorable watching grandmother age women eagerly sewing away to repair your beloved sock monkey.

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Jared seems to be enjoying himself here. What I found most surprising about Sock Monkey Madness was the amount of adults without children there. Some were rocking sock monkey shirts, one woman was blinged out in sock monkey earrings and matching purse, it’s endearing to see this American creation made of commonplace socks is still so well loved by the public.

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And Clarence came home with a friend made of genuine Fox River socks! (the company in Iowa who has assumed creating the famous sock that sock monkeys are made of) We are ending our trip to the magic known as Sock Monkey madness with a new addition to my sock monkey collection, Cecil. Sock Monkeys are always available at the Midway Village store, so if you cannot wait to get your hands on one, just go to their website, or drive over there in person.

Oh Sock Monkey Madness, you’re completely adorable and I can’t wait to go back next year. Until next time lovelies! Hope you all have a magical Halloween!

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