Celebrating sock monkeys

Sock monkeys may have been from our grandparents’ generation, but you can still introduce these endearing stuffed creatures to your kids’ generation by heading to Midway Museum’s Sock Monkey Madness Festival. The festival, held from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. March 7-8, will feature everything imaginable related to sock monkeys, from a sock monkey hospital to a sock monkey film festival.

At this family festival, kids can try their hand at age-appropriate sock monkey crafts or enter their sock monkey in the Ms./Mr. Sockford 2009 Sock Monkey Pageant. A 7-foot sock monkey will be on display and home-made movies about sock monkeys will be shown at the film festival. If your monkey is feeling a little under the weather, visit Sockford General Hospital, where monkeys can get new stuffing or a wellness check from the resident surgeon.

This year’s festival will also feature children’s author and illustrator Cece Bell, who has written numerous books about Sock Monkey and his adventures.

Celebrating sock monkeys is celebrating Rockford’s history: The Nelson Knitting Company of Rockford manufactured the red-heeled work sock. The company included the sock monkey pattern with each pair of socks sold. The sock monkey has gained a comeback recently, with people from all over the country heading to Rockford for the festival.

Admission to the festival is $7, $4 kids 3-17. Museum members are free. There is an additional charge for workshops. Midway Village Museum is located at 6799 Guilford Road, Rockford. Visit www.midwayvillage.com or call (815) 397-9112 for more information.

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