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Go bananas at Rockford's Sock Monkey Madness Festival

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Let's face it, many of us spend a great deal of time monkeying around. Why? Because it's fun! And in Rockford, Illinois they're about to really go ape at the annual Sock Monkey Madness Festival, set for March 1-2 at the Midway Village Museum.

It wasn’t long after the Rockford-based (and now defunct) Nelson Knitting Company started churning out work socks that some clever person started fashioning them into dolls that looked like cute little monkeys, using the distinctive red heel of the sock for the critter’s mouth. Nowadays sock monkeys are made all over, in factories and by hand, but Rockford (Sockford if you wish!) will always be home to the lovable toys. And certainly there’s no other place in the world that spends two full days honoring the cuddle-worthy creations.

The theme at this year’s Sock Monkey Madness Festival is “sock monkey super heroes” and attendees are encouraged to dress themselves and their sock monkeys as a super hero. If you don’t know quite how to turn your sock monkey into Super Sock Monkey, there’ll be free materials at the festival to help you make a costume for the little guy. There’ll be a Make a Monkey Workshop, aid for raggedy sock monkeys at the Sockford General Hospital and the Ms./Mr. Sockford 2014 Pageant will be held on Sunday, March 2. Sock monkeys can get their own library card at the Sockford Public Library, Barbara Gerry (granddaughter of Nelson Knitting founder John Nelson) will read from her new children’s book and the museum will have an exhibit focusing on Rockford’s knitting history and the origin of the sock monkey.

Tickets for the Sock Monkey Madness Festival go on sale February 27 and can be purchased through the Midway Village website.

For a chance to win four free tickets, “like” the Go Rockford Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.

For help in planning your trip to Rockford visit the Go Rockford website.

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