OSAGE — Fox River Mills will make the City Maples the place to be this weekend as the local sock maker hosts “SocktoberFest” Friday through Sunday.

“Socktoberfest” will be anchored by the annual Benefit Sock Sale but will also feature a 5K run/walk, free kids’ fun run, Saturday breakfast by the Osage American Legion and a Sunday omelet breakfast hosted by the Osage Fire Department.

The sock sale, previously held in November, benefits local service organizations including the Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions Club, supporting community programs, facilities and events throughout the year.

“We’ve added more activities to the weekend and moved up the annual Benefit Sock Sale to provide customers with better weather and a better experience. It can be a great getaway instead of just a good deal, although we’ll have plenty of those too,” said Becky Lessard, vice president of finance and administration for Fox River Mills, Inc. 

“In early October, the weather is warmer and the leaves in Osage are really beautiful. There’s just so much more to do at this time of year than later.”

The Fox River Sock Sale will take place on the Mitchell County Fairgrounds at the Cedar River Complex Event Center. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The event is free and open to the public. Other vendors and organizations will be onsite selling food, gifts and more.

On Saturday, put on your FoxSox performance socks and participate in the inaugural “Red Heel Run.”

Registration for the 5k Red Heel Run includes a T-shirt, pair of FoxSox and free breakfast from the Osage American Legion Post 278. Late registration and same-day sign-up will be accepted.

“People travel from hours and even states away for this sale,” said Lessard. “It’s a great trip through Northern Iowa no matter where you’re coming from.”

“My family has been coming to the sale for years,” said Kelly Powell of Minneapolis. “With it earlier this year, the Red Heel Run, Fun Run and breakfast, it’s even more of a must-go weekend. My kids are so excited to run in the Fun Run for a chance to win a sock monkey.”

Last year’s sale of more than 100,000 pairs of first-quality and “not-quite-perfect” socks drew more than 8,000 people during the three-day event.

“It has to be one of the largest sock sales in the country, if not the world,” said Lessard. “With mills closing across the country, we’re proud to be made right here in Iowa and in America.”

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