There are over 40,000 records in the Guinness World Records database, but few more relevant to this group of club members than the “largest gathering of people dressed as garden gnomes.” Since November 18, 2011, this coveted title has been held by a BBC Hereford & Worcester, which gathered 478 people dressed like gnomes in Worcester, UK to raise money for BBC Children in Need. In fact, our very own club member, Davy Turner, was part of that legendary day!
Well now, we have a new (pending) world record holder to congratulate in the U.S. city of Atlanta, Georgia! It took a full decade to get these gnomes’ numbers up, but a group called Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons organized its tenth attempt to break the record at the Inman Park Festival Parade on April 28. This is a wonderful local group that has been advocating for grown-up playtime since 1999, and its mission is to get everyone to come out and play because creative participation in civic events is a priceless contribution to the community. This year, Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons was able to bring together a whopping 755 people dressed as garden gnomes. In 2016, the group was only able to gather 260 gnomes, and in 2017 that number reached 315. So, this is definitely a big accomplishment for organizer Chantelle Rytter, her Krewe, and all gnomekind!
At the time this article was written, the group was still waiting for official confirmation from Guinness World Records to confirm that it is, in fact, the new world record holder. But regardless, this is still very exciting news for our growing community of gnome fans. Red hats filled the park, white beards were adorned by gnomes of all shapes and sizes, and the gnome pun signs were nothing short of hilarious. Although I moved away from Atlanta too soon to get to participate in this momentous day myself, I couldn’t be prouder of my old city!
So, with this record-breaking day in mind, you might be wondering what other gnome records exist in the world. Right? Well, our very own Ann Atkin still holds the Guinness World Record for the “largest collection of gnomes and pixies” (2,042), a record that was confirmed on March 25, 2011 at the four-acre Gnome Reserve in West Putford, Devon, UK. And the record for the “largest garden gnome” is held by Ron Hale of Nanoose, British Columbia in Canada. Standing at 25 feet, 11 inches tall, this gnome was built in 1998 for an amusement park that no longer exists, so it stands on the grounds of a petrol station today. Congratulations to our famous gnome friends in Atlanta and aspiring record-breakers all around the world!