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About Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 29, 2017)
Appeal Tribune Wednesday, November 29, 2017 3A
Fred Meyer sock sale a beloved frenzy
SALEM STATESMAN JOURNAL
USA TODAY NETWORK
Mary Beth Baker has worked enough
Fred Meyer sock sales to see just about
everything. A co-worker falling into a
play pen of socks. Others trapped behind
doors as shoppers rushed into the store.
A loyal customer waxing poetic about
"It's actually my favorite day of the
year, without a question," said Baker, a
47-year veteran who's been with Fred
Meyer since before the first sock sale.
For 37 years, the Black Friday event
— where all socks are half-price — has
been an Oregon family tradition that can
quickly devolve into shopping chaos.
Customers who love it return year af-
ter year, bringing family members along
for early-morning adventures.
Fred Meyer expects to sell about 1.2
million socks this year across all of its
stores in Oregon, Washington, Alaska
and Idaho, spokesman Jeffery Temple
told the Statesman Journal. That would
be on par with previous Black Fridays.
The sale started long after Fred. G.
Meyer moved to Portland in 1908 and
eventually founded the first Fred Meyer
store in 1922.
Fast forward to 1980, when the com-
pany kicked off its sock sale as a holiday
challenge and a fun event for customers
"The first one was absolutely a zoo,"
Baker said. The store had never done
something like that before, she said.
"The customers loved it. And every
year it just got better and better, and big-
ger and bigger," she said.
Shoppers look through the many piles of socks on sale at the Fred Meyer on Market and Lancaster during last year’s Black Friday. For 37 years,
the Black Friday event — where all socks are half-price — has been an Oregon family tradition. MOLLY J. SMITH / STATESMAN JOURNAL
‘Oh my god, this is tradition’
The same customers started coming
back year after year. "Pretty soon, it got
to be where customers were saying, 'Oh
my god, this is tradition,' " Baker said.
She said one customer wrote a poem
about the sock sale on Thanksgiving,
then came into the store and read it aloud
"We just cracked up," Baker said,
though she couldn't remember how the
Employees used to empty socks into
playpens for the sale. At least one time,
an employee fell into a pen they were fill-
ing, said Baker, now an apparel coordina-
tor for 21 Fred Meyer stores.
Employees end up finding socks all
over the store long after the sale ends.
"You find socks for weeks everywhere,"
Customers have their own chaotic sto-
"Craziest thing my daughter recalled
seeing was a woman dive into the table
full of socks," said Kimberly Jones, of Sa-
lem. "That’s her fondest memory."
Jones says she has gone for at least
the last six years.
Last year, Jones got so excited about
the sale that she passed up the free
"When the doors opened it’s a mad
dash to where they’ve set up tables with
boxes and boxes of socks," she said.
She rushed to the socks with a battle
plan: White socks for one son, black for
the other. Wool socks for one daughter,
and colorful, no-show ones for the other.
For her husband, it's dress socks.
‘She hit my mother-in-law
with her cane’
About 13 years ago, Carole Ashworth
was with her former mother-in-law when
an elderly woman started grabbing
socks from their cart.
The two urged the woman to stop.
"She hit my mother-in-law with her
cane," then took off with the socks, Ash-
It was a what-the-heck moment, but
"we just let it go," she said.
At least every two years, Ashworth
drives about an hour from her home in
Sheridan to the Salem Fred Meyer on
Market Street NE for the sale. She usu-
ally arrives around 2 a.m, waiting with
dozens of other shoppers in the parking
lot until the doors open.
Reach reporter Jonathan Bach by
email at email@example.com
or by phone at 503-399-6714. Follow him
on Twitter @JonathanMBach and Face-
book at www.facebook.com/jonathan-
Silver Falls preps for a Christmas wonderland
40th annual event slated
to take place on Dec. 9
SALEM STATESMAN JOURNAL
USA TODAY NETWORK
While Silver Falls State Park is a year-
round inviting draw, its custodians are
busy preparing for one of the park's most
popular days of the year.
Friends of Silver Falls State Park
spokeswoman Lou Nelson said park
rangers, hosts and volunteers are busy
transforming the park’s Historic district
into a “Christmas Wonderland” for the
40th annual Christmas Festival.
The one-day festivity is from 11 a.m.
to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, in the South
Falls Historic District.
Nelson said musicians and choral
groups are lined up as visitors can enjoy
cookies, cocoa and seasonal stories in the
South Falls Lodge area.
There are also a number of hands-on
activities on tap, including holiday
cards, gingerbread houses, festive orna-
ments, wreaths, nature crafts and guid-
ed hikes. The popularity is notable in the
”The festival, now in its 40th year, has
always been popular; we typically re-
ceive 3,000-5,000 visitors, depending on
the weather,” said Silver Falls State Park
Ranger Matt Palmquist.
“The most popular activities every
year are wreath making and building
gingerbread houses,” Palmquist added.
“The guided hikes are a more recent ad-
dition, but we had a great turnout last
year. They are short hikes, but they high-
light seasonal changes in the forest.”
Most activities are free.
“Give a gift to nature by building a
bird nest box,” Nelson urged.
The Salem Audubon Society supplies
parts, tools, and expertise for that activ-
ity, which does carry a $5 material fee
for the bird nest boxes. All other crafts
and activities at the festival are free.
New this year will be activities at the
Silver Falls Lodge and Conference Cen-
Nelson said the center will be offering
roasted chestnuts, popcorn, coffee and
cocoa, and it will have holiday craft sta-
tions and carnival style games with priz-
es. There will also be snowflake flurries
each hour, and a small selection of lunch
items available for purchase in the hall.
A shuttle bus will run continuously
between the conference center and the
South Falls Day Use area between 11a.m.
and 4 p.m.
“The Silver Falls Lodge and Confer-
ence Center is sponsoring some activ-
ities this year both to bring more aware-
ness to their existence — many people in
the community don’t know about what
they offer,” Palmquist said. “(That will)
help relieve overcrowding in the South
Falls Day-Use Area.”
Nelson reminds everyone that a day-
use parking permit is required to park at
Silver Falls. Visitors can purchase a one-
day permit for $5, while a one-year Ore-
gon state parks pass is on sale Dec. 1-31
for $25. Two-year passes are available
Silver Falls State Park is located on
Highway 214, about 16 miles southeast of
Silverton. For a detailed event schedule,
For information about the Silver Falls
Lodge and Conference Center, call 866-
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Here and now, our award-winning journalists deliver
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Capitol Hill and how the outcomes there affect us here.
Silver Falls State Park South Falls Lodge is preparing for the 40th annual Christmas Festival.
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and genuine storytelling with integrity throughout the
USA TODAY NETWORK. And we do it for you.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FRIENDS OF SILVER FALLS STATE PARK
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