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Sock Monkey Madness in Rockford, Illinois

sock monkeys, Midway Village Museum gift shop, Rockford, Illinois
sock monkeys, Midway Village Museum gift shop, Rockford, Illinois
Roger Fasteson

It’s a history and toy-lover’s delight, and a time to monkey around. Sock Monkey Madness Festival will be celebrated at the Home of the Sock Monkey, Rockford, Illinois.

It all happens between 11 am and 5 pm on March 1 and 2 at Midway Village Museum. Have fun discovering more about Rockford’s and America’s past.

Don’t have a sock monkey? Make your own at the Make-A-Monkey Workshop.

Free materials will be available to create an outfit for your sock monkey for this year’s theme--Sock Monkey Super Heroes. Add to the festivities by dressing to suit the theme.

Hear a story from a new children’s book written by Barbara Gerry. She is the great granddaughter of John Nelson, who invented the knitting machine that made the seamless Red Heel Sock.

Visit the Sockford General Hospital and get your well-loved sock monkey a free checkup and minor surgical repairs. Then stop at the Sockford Public Library to get a library card for your sock monkey.

Explore to museum’s exhibit on the history of Rockford’s knitting industry and the origin of the sock monkey doll. It’s an opportunity to learn more about how Rockford came to be the city it is today.

Enter the prestigious annual Ms./Mr. Sockford Pageant on Sunday, March 2. And there’s more.

The Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau will be giving away four free tickets to the event. Just “like” them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter to find out how to win. Tickets , $8 for adults, $5 for children and students, and free to museum members, go on sale February 27. Parking is free.

The American Association for State and Local History awarded Rockford’s Sock Monkey Madness festival a national Leadership in History Award in 2009 for excellence in educational programming. This year’s sock monkey festival is being sponsored by Rasmussen College.

For more on Rockford’s history see Notable Travels.

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