Current and former band students around the world celebrated Aug. 25 by putting on their marching shoes for the first International Dinkles Day. Up-Front Footwear, manufacturer of Dinkles, created the new holiday to celebrate the iconic shoe and its fans.
“Basically it was in celebration of our 25th anniversary and also just a great way to show our fans what their Dinkles actually mean to them,” says Tom LaBarbera, director of sales.
While the Savoca family had been making marching and majorette shoes since 1940, they debuted “Vanguard,” the first leather, flat rubber-soled band shoe and introduced the Dinkles brand in 1986.
To celebrate the anniversary, the company encouraged fans to share their Dinkles memories, photos or videos via its Facebook fan page. “We got a lot of response especially on our Facebook page; there were essays, photos, videos,” LaBarbera says. “There was even a girl that was waterskiing in her Dinkles. It gave individual marchers and people across the country a chance to show how they use their Dinkles in action.”
Aug. 25, or 8/25, was chosen both due to the 25th anniversary and also because of its pronunciation as eight-two-five or “eight-to-five,” the measurement of a standard marching step as eight steps in five yards.
Dinkles hopes to send out rewards for some of the best submissions. “The entries are still being gone through, so we haven’t had a winner yet, and the prize is still a secret,” LaBarbera says. “Every year [International Dinkles Day is] going to be a new part of our Dinkles culture.”