BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Burlington and Alamance County have long been known for their textile heritage, but this industry was only part of what makes this community so special. When the Sock Puppets launched their new name in 2021, they did so to honor that very industry but saw the unique ability to be able to continue to honor various industries, events and people with their new brand. May 16, 2021 marked the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Alamance, and in celebration, the Burlington baseball team launched the first of many Community Sock Puppets. On the 75th anniversary of another marquee location here in Burlington, it's time they announce another, The Aviator.
When Glenn Huffman and Dover Fogleman built the Fairchild airfield in 1931, they marked the beginning for an industry that has been a key catalyst to the City of Burlington's and Alamance County's growth for the next 91 years. As WWII began a few years later, numerous companies, as well as the federal government, occupied the airfield and started producing various pieces of equipment to assist in the war effort. Due to the new industry booming, many new people moved here for work and built a new community on the east side of Burlington. Even though Fairchild airfield closed in the 1960s, the aviation industry continued to grow and thrive in Central North Carolina.
Seeing a further need for expansion of the aviation industry in 1947, it was decided that a new Burlington Airport should be built. Now, as they celebrate 75 years of service to this community, the Burlington Airport continues to grow and assist the growth of the surrounding areas. Servicing both the public and many businesses, the airport is one of the most vital contributors that has been bringing new jobs to Alamance County.
Dan Danieley, the Executive Director of the Burlington-Alamance Airport Authority, sums up the purpose and role of the airport by saying, "the goal of the airport is to serve the community. As a key transportation and logistics hub, The Burlington Alamance Regional Airport is literally connecting our community to the world. We are a critical economic engine for business development, not only in our community but our region as well."
With now two community characters as a part of their brand, the Sock Puppets continue to try and tell the story of their community in a sockingly different way. "A sock puppet can be anything," Anderson Rathbun, General Manager of the Sock Puppets, said, "and before we even decided to go with the Sock Puppets moniker and honor the textile heritage, we saw hundreds and hundreds of community members share other pieces of history that they wanted to see embodied in our new brand. Now to come full circle and be able to honor not one, not two, not three but an unlimited amount of history with their respective, unique sock puppets is something we are very proud of."
To learn more about the Burlington-Alamance Airport Authority click here.
To commemorate the new community sock character, you can now order the limited edition Aviator sock shirt!