Annapolis Sock Burning illustration by Kim Scafuro for Baltimore Magazine.

Only in Maryland: The Annapolis Tradition of Sock Burning

By Preservation Maryland

The date has been set March 24, 2018 for the annual Maryland tradition of the Annapolis Oyster Roast and Sock Burning!

Background story

After a particularly snowy winter in 1978, Annapolitan Bob Tuner was anxious to shed his socks with the arrival of spring. He invited his colleagues to celebrate the end of winter by burning their socks after work, a symbolic goodbye to winter as the group of boat builders, sailors, and watermen intended to forgo wearing socks until the cold weather returned; and so a tradition was born.

Gov. Larry Hogan at the Sock Burning, 2015.

The tradition has come to be celebrated every year on the Vernal Equinox, the day signaling the beginning of Spring and, more importantly in Annapolis, boating season. The Eastport Yacht Club and the Annapolis Maritime Museum continue to observe this tradition and, with the assistance of social media, sock burning has caught fire across the country it is now celebrated from Pacific Northwest to New England and even in land-locked areas of Pennsylvania. Today, the annual Sock Burning event has become quite popular and includes an oyster roast, food vendors, activities, and exhibits highlighting maritime heritage.

Attend the Sock Burning

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This post was prepared by Rachel Rettaliata, one of Preservation Maryland’s Waxter Interns. Rachel’s work with us focuses on communications and advocacy. She is a Fulbright Scholar and student at the University of Texas. Learn more about Rachel and our intern program here:

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