A giant red stocking that was designed to break a world's record did just that on Tuesday evening.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

The foot-shaped, red-and-white poplin creation was unveiled to the public at 6 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Mathewson Exhibition Center on the Missouri State Fairgrounds, much to the delight of hundreds of people, including Sedalia Mayor Stephen J. Galliher.

"We do not have a building tall enough to hang it on," noted the mayor during his public remarks. He later said that his first look at the giant sock was a jaw-dropping experience.

"Holy mackerel, it fills up the Mathewson Center," he exclaimed. By contrast, the City's T-2 fire truck extends to 110 feet, Galliher noted. And the width of the stocking is almost as wide as Broadway. But the mayor said he has a plan on where to hang the 820-pound sock next year. But he wouldn't divulge what it entails. "I've got plans for next Christmas, but we have to work out some of the details."

Mayor Galliher said that Pettis County Surveyor Kerry Turpin volunteered to accurately measure the big red sock and reported that it is 177 feet, 10 and 3/4 inches long, by 72, 8 and 7/16 inches wide. The Mayor and Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond served as witnesses.

That should be enough to shatter the old record of 168 feet, 5.65 inches long by 70 feet, 11.57 inches wide, a record that was held since 2011 by Carrara, Tuscany, in Italy, according to Charlie Thomas, who was the brainchild of the project, which was hatched in July. Thomas is a KDRO DJ and has been promoting it on his show daily ever since.

The actual work was done by 20 ladies at First Christian Church, 200 S. Limit. That included material handling and sewing duties, according to Shirley Craig, who was a member of that elite group. She, along with the other ladies, led by JoDee Buso, began work on the big red sock in October after being approached by Thomas.

When asked if she thought they would ever finish the project in time, Craig said "No. We really didn't, we were worried about being finished by Christmas, and (yet) we were finished two days before Thanksgiving. I love red, red is my favorite color, so that helped with this project. Looking at it (every day) and sewing it, was not near as difficult as it was getting it moved around to sew it," Craig admitted.

Craig noted that the material (purchased in Kansas City at a cost of around $3,000) reminded her of a poplin tablecloth, which is lightweight and sturdy. "All the seams are double stitched," she said, adding that Kay of Kay's Crafts and Fabrics used her expertise to pick out the material.

According to Thomas, church members ages 8 - 94 helped out with the project overall. He also mentioned some of the project sponsors, including Specialty Sportswear (which produced the red lettering on the white cuff), W-K Chevrolet and Bryant Motor Co. Rac Jac said it would store the stocking until it is needed next year.

Before the oversized sock was unrolled by area children, a behind-the-scenes video rolled on the large TV monitors in the Mathewson, showing how the whole things was assembled.

Mayor Galliher noted that Turpin will submit his official measurements to the Guinness Book of World Records to certify the new record-holding stocking.

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