Breaking News! Gnome Fest in Tuscon TOMORROW! Hop on a freaking plane!

We had a nice quiet weekend in the countryside planned and welp, that just got thrown out the window!

Why, you ask?

Because we just remembered that Metro Gnome Music’s 3rd annual Gnome Fest is taking place TOMORROW!

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We have issued a gnome-wide alert to cancel manicures, find pet sitters, and disappoint distant relatives. It’ll all be worth it, because this year’s Gnome Fest is set to be even better than last year.

Read My 2013 Post About Gnome FestLet’s All Go to Tuscon on Saturday!

The festivities are taking place tomorrow October 18th at 4044 E. Speedway in Tuscon – between the hours of 11:30am and 6:00pm.

Once again, this crew will be trying to break the Guinness Book World Record for the Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Garden Gnomes. The current record is 468.

Let’s blow that lame number to smithereens, people!

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But alas this is a music shop, so the fest is also all about the music.

According to a Metro Gnome press release, Amosphere, led by 2005 Grammy Award finalist AmoChip, female-fronted trio Copper & Congress, multi-format ensemble group Genevieve & The LP’s, the 90’s alternative/grunge rock band Lollapaloozers, and the self-described “opposite of robots”: Sorry About The Garden.

There’s gonna be some weird freaking contests, including prizes for the fastest Twinkie eater and quickest Brompton Bike folder. What am I looking forward to the most? That’d be the Gnome Wobble Contest.

Stumped by those three words strung together in a sentence? Watch this wobble instructional video and boost your pop culture quotient. It’s at 3pm, and gnomes have no patience for tardiness.

Haven’t we always been telling you how much gnomes and animals get along? Metro Gnome Music will be selling gnome hats for $5 and $2 of each one will go to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. Woof! Meooooooowwwwww!

Love eating out of a motorized vehicle? There’ll be plenty of food trucks, like You Sly Dog and Gigi’s Mexican & Peruvian Fusion to satisfy your obscure cravings.

We’ll see you at the fest!

xoxo,
Kamikaze, your last-minute party guide gnome

Sleepy Gnome Bloggers Wake Up for Movie Premier!

The blogging gnomes have been a wee bit too tipsy for blog posts lately it seems. For whatever reason, the grog supply has been dwindling more than usual and they’ve been capable of little more than dumb Facebook quips.

Well I’m here to revive long-form gnome rants, once and for all.

Here, here!

No, really. Down here. Have you forgotten how short we are?

I like to think of myself as a bit of a connoisseur of the arts, so when I saw a headline today about a gnome film, my stubby ears perked up.

“Coota gnome rescue immortalised in film”

That’s what the headline read, and it’s all about the great gnome rescue of 2009.

Unfamiliar with that whole ordeal?

Photo credit: Cootamundra Herald

Photo credit: Cootamundra Herald

Around 1500 garden gnomes rescued from the late Shirley Elford’s home in 2009. They were tattered and torn, but still beautiful gnome souls in need of a little TLC.

Following the rescue, they were restored and adopted out to caring homes. Filmmakers caught wind of this phenomenon and also about the annual Australian Gnome Convention, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.

According to the Cootamundra Herald, “Film producer Murray Fahey said the film will include flashbacks to the Cootamundra rescue mission as well as interviews with some of the people involved including ‘Gnome Master’ David Cooke.”

The film’s due to be released in early November, but we stateside gnome are worried that we might not have access to the screening.

Sob…sob…help us?

We might be far away, but we’re not giving up hope. We’ll be following this story as the first of November approaches and hopefully find a way to see this wonderfully promising film. Gnome films aren’t exactly the easiest to come by, so you’ve got to jump on the bandwagon while the tubas are still playing.

Until then, this is your gnome culture news for the day. Signing off…

Horace The Gnome

Do Gnomes Belong in Renaissance Fairs?

Many gnome enthusiasts believe that gnomes originated in Germany in the early 1800s and that the first gnomes appeared in England in the 1840s. However, as I attended my very first Renaissance Fair in Bristol Wisconsin, I couldn’t help but notice gnomish influences all around me.

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But wait! The Renaissance is categorized as the period of European history between the 1300s and the 1600s. So how did gnomes begin sneaking their way into these festival celebrations?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word “gnome” comes from Renaissance Latin gnomus, which first appears in the works of a 16th century Swiss alchemist named Paracelsus. He described gnomes as diminutive spirits that were small, lived underground, and appeared in Renaissance magic and alchemy. In his publications, Paracelsus wrote that gnomes were about a foot tall, could move through solid earth, and were weary of human contact. You can read more about Paracelsus’ gnomes in Alan G. Hefner’s essay, “Paracelus’ Natural Spirits,” and Princeton’s history of gnomes.

But as I walked around the Renaissance Fair chomping on an oversized turkey leg and admiring the costumes, I couldn’t help but notice more trolls, wizards, fairies, and elves than gnomes for sale. One fair vendor selling mushrooms had a lovely lady gnome with her two children on display. The vendor revealed that he and his wife used to run a Renaissance fair booth that was all about gnomes and sold gnomes in all shapes and sizes. I tried to convince him to bring that booth back next year…we’ll see.

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I visited another fair vendor who created handmade pottery sculptures of all kinds. As you can see in this photo, gnomes sat alongside wizards, Santas, and leprechauns. Just as I find with Christmas markets each year, identifying true gnomes in crowds like this is always a challenge.

So I ask again, do gnomes belong at Renaissance Fairs?

As I see it, the purpose of a Renaissance Fair is to take a step back in history to enjoy a day in another place and time. So while the true origin of gnomes is still debated,  gnomes have a special place in history and I think they would really enjoy the Renaissance Fair activities. And if wizards, elves, and trolls are allowed to attend, then I see no reason for gnomes to be left out of the celebration! Cheers!

xoxo,
Roxy the Gnome

*A version of this story is scheduled to be published in the upcoming International Gnome Club Newsletter!

Meet Lampy…The Oldest Gnome in the World (Who’s Overseeing a Cycling Race!)

Here at The Gnome Abode, we got a guy who was born in 1970. Fips has got nothin’ on Lampy, the oldest known gnome in the world.

Lampy is the only survivor of a set of 21 garden gnomes that were important from Germany to Britain in the 1840s. An eccentric spiritualist, Sir Charles Isham, brought Lampy and his dear brothers over in 1847. They were all made out of terracotta, and the whereabouts of Lampy’s brothers’ remains is a mystery.

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Lampy: most treasured father of all gnomes

Isham’s daughters (who sound like miserable people) hated the gnomes and removed them from their property. But sneaky lil’ Lampy survived! And today, he’s considered to be the oldest garden gnome in the world.

In 1997, Lampy was insured for £1 million, and is estimated to be worth £2 million.

WHOA!

You can see Lampy for yourself inside Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire, where he’s been living for over 125 years.

“In Chelsea Flower Show’s centenary year, I can’t think of anything more fitting than an invite for Lampy,” said Lamport Hall’s assistant property manager, Neil Lyon, before the suprisingly gnome-friendly recent event.

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A replica of Lampy the garden gnome (WikiCommons)

So what’s Lampy up to these days?

Well by golly, he’s the guest of honor at an upcoming cycling race…what else?

Cycle 4 Cynthia is taking place on September 21st to raise money for Cynthia Spencer Hospice and the Northhampton charity, Kidsaid, which supports kids who’ve suffered from bullying and abuse. According to the Northampton Chronicle, participants are being encouraged to dress up like dear ole’ Lampy in his honor!

Cyclists will ride five, 25, or 50 mile routes and yes, there are prizes for best costume!

Neil Lyon, Lamport’s Assistant Property Manager, said: “I’m sure Lampy would be pleased to think that he was playing his small part in helping to raise even more money for this wonderful event and he cant wait to see all those riders with red pointed hats perched on top of their cycle helmets pedal off down the drive.”

If your little gnome legs are up for the challenge, sign up for the race at visit www.cycle4cynthia.com!

And this concludes today’s combined lesson of history and current events.

Oh and happy Labor Day to all our lazy non-working American gnomes :)

xoxo,
Sketchy Andy the Gnome