March 20, 2009

Maryland maritime museum burns socks

The Annapolis Maritime Museum in Maryland celebrated the first day of spring Friday with its seventh annual Sock Burning ceremony.

Officials said the tradition was inspired by former Annapolis Yacht Yard manager Bob Turner, who inadvertently started a trend one spring in the mid-1980s when he disposed of his winter socks -- which according to legend were filled with metal filings, paint grindings, sawdust and other pieces of debris -- by placing them in a paint tray, covering them in lighter fluid and setting them ablaze.

The tradition caught on with other Maryland boaters and has since traveled to other boating towns including Seattle and Key West, Fla.

The sock burning in Annapolis is traditionally accompanied by the recitation of Ode to the Sock Burners, a poem written in 1995 by Jefferson Holland.