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By Karen Hendricks, PR/Marketing Director

If you don’t know the term “sock hop,” chances are you’re relatively young.  We’ve been asked the question, “What is a sock hop?” at the Festival office quite a bit recently due to our upcoming “Festival Sock Hop: Kick off your Shoes & Kick the Winter Blues” on March 3.

In the 50s and 60s, high school dances were traditionally held in a school gymnasium or cafeteria where floors sparkled with a smooth, varnished finish.  So teens were asked to take off their shoes, so as not to damage the surface, and dance in their socks.  Keep in mind, this was a time when teens wore what we now call “dress shoes” every day.  As sneakers and saddle shoes became popular, the rubber soles were not damaging to the floors, teens could dance in their shoes, and the term “sock hop” fell out of use.

Remember this dance scene from "Grease?"


But we thought it would be fun to bring back this theme and plan a sock hop based upon the great oldies music of the 50s and 60s.  The Festival’s premier culinary partner, The Wyndham Gettysburg including 1863 Restaurant, has designed a playful menu brimming with popular 50s and 60s themed food.  Root beer floats, anyone?  Click here to see the full menu.

Bob Mathers

But the main ingredient on our Sock Hop menu is fun.  One of the area’s leading DJ’s specializing in oldies music– Bob Mathers–will be spinning tunes to set your toes tapping.  Bob has worked with such legendary icons as Buddy Deane, host of Baltimore’s Buddy Deane Show.  This teenage dance show was the inspiration and basis for the movie/musical Hairspray.  Bob will also entertain you with fun 50s/60s trivia and a few contests along the way.  (Hint:  you may want to watch the following YouTube clip which shows you the nifty steps to “Dancin’ the Madison.”)



What a fun era to revisit, including classic and nostalgic tunes such as “In the Still of the Night” (The Five Satins), “The Way You Do the Things You Do (The Temptations), “The Wanderer” (Dion), “Earth Angel” (The Penguins; also recorded by The Crew Cuts and many others), Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry), and many more.  

There are a limited number of Sock Hop tickets available – click here to learn more about the event & reserve your tickets today.

It doesn’t matter if you lived through the 50s/60s or not – come as you are or jump into your saddle shoes and poodle skirt, or your black leather jacket and rolled-up jeans and “Let’s Go to the Hop!”


Feel free to leave a post here on our blog, and tell us about your favorite 50s/60s tunes–cool beans!