If you ask me what I did this weekend, I’ll tell you. I Went to the Gnome March and watched a new world record be set!
“You what…? Why?”
Because I’m the Gnome Queen.
For my unadventurous peers, discovering new events in the ATL may not be as easy as finding a leprechaun with a pot of gold. Yet this Gnome Queen will always have your hookup.
For those of us looking for some weird and interesting fun, the annual Inman Park Festival and Parade this past weekend was the place to be. The Parade hosts one of the most unique aspects of the spring calendar: the Krewe of the Grateful Glutton’s Guinness Book of World Record’s Gnome March.
Beginning at the corners of Waddle St. and Edgewood Ave. in front of the amazing Revolution Doughnuts, participants were dressed to impress with a variety of outfits and accessories, including bright suspenders, dresses with aprons, boots galore, and of course the iconic red pointed hats. From Grandparents to Gnomeborns, (and even some out-of-towners) this queen couldn’t have been more proud.
The annual march, described as the “largest gathering of people dressed as garden gnomes”,” marked its 10th anniversary this past Saturday with Gnomes to spare. The tradition began at the first gnome gathering here in Atlanta in April 2007; however, in February 2011, Canadian affiliates of the film, Gnomeo & Juliet attended a movie screening with 266 participants. The tradition became even more widespread when the world record was captured by a group of 478 from Worcester, England in November 2011, and has been maintained ever since. Well, until last Saturday, that is.
Led by the Gnome Captain Chantelle Rytter, the march began with a mile long trek up Edgewood, forking into Euclid Ave. Along the path, spectators and vendors gave their rowdy support while providing free waters, snacks, and of course: beer, to the marchers.
“This seriously is the best turn out we’ve ever had,” explained local participant Gnomer Simpson. “It’s just really cool to see everyone come support something like this.”
After a little bit of parade partying, the gnomes took a slight detour into “Gnome Field” where the official count by Gnome Leader Laura Miller began. I myself was counted at number 96 while my loving counterpart, the “Giant King,” stood at a solid 97. As the gnome numbers trickled in, (in an orderly, single file line. We aren’t heathens) our anticipation grew.
“476…477..478…479! That’s it! We did it!”
At the sound of 479, the gnomes erupted.
Chanting and dancing amplified at each rising number until we hit the finale. Finishing at an incredible 755 (take that Britain), Atlanta had once again proven that we are the most “astro-gnomical.”
For this Queen of the Gnomes, the Inman Park Parade and Festival couldn’t have gone any better. From the food and excitement to the sun and the ‘shrooms, spring had officially arrived. You’re up Canada.
Check out our events calendar for other fun, upcoming events in Atlanta!