Festival of the Gnomes – Joliet, IL

illinois-joliet-festival-gnomes-poster-2

Festival of the Gnomes is an annual Christmas season event held on the grounds of the scenic 10-acre Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park at 201 W. Jefferson Street on Bluff Street in downtown Joliet, Illinois. The Billie Limacher Bicentennial Theatre is located at 201 West Jefferson Street.

Since 1976, the day-long event offers a lobby filled with beautiful flute music, a gift shop showcasing unique “gnomemade” crafts, baked goods from the “cookie factory,” and unique soft-sculpture boy and girl gnome dolls raffled off each year (made by doll maker Sue Shetina from 1988-2014).

illinois-joliet-gnome-festival-dolls

One of the traditions of the Festival are the gnome hats worn by all in attendance. First-time gnome attendees may purchase a gnome hat – red for boys and green for girls – that they may bring back each year. For every subsequent year in attendance, one of the lady gnomes gathered around the fireplace in the lobby will sew a tassel on the gnome cap for free.

For an attendee’s 10th anniversary show, the tassel is a dried moon beam (a black tassel) with a dried star (rhinestone) attached to it. The tassel is silver for the 20th anniversary and gold for the 30th.

Even the winners of the raffle dolls bring them back to the festival the next year to get tassel put on their dolls.

illinois-joliet-festival-gnomes-poster

At the indoor theater, visitors are invited to a 90-minute musical show performed by a cast of all ages who celebrate the lore of the gnomes (the mythical wee folk from European folklore) and deliver holiday messages of doing good works for man and nature, sharing one’s blessings and believing in one’s self.

After the show, children are invited onto the stage to meet the gnomes in person and draw their own gnome to take home.

Characters in the play include Grandma Gnome, who likes to give packets of birdseed to feed the birds; the main hero, Kostja, the naughty gnome; the thankful couple in the “Poor Woodsman” scene; the hairy Snotgurgle and her evil trolls who lurk through the audience searching for gnomes, Tinker Gnome, an in inept inventor of gadgets, and the Gnome from Nome, Alaska and his friend the sea otter.

The show is largely inspired by materials found in from the book “Gnomes” (1976) by Will Huygen and Rien Poortvliet.

NOTE: There is also a Fairy Festival held in May at the Pilcher Park Nature Center at 2501 Highland Park Dr in Joliet, Illinois.

Festival of the Gnomes
Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park
201 W. Jefferson Street
Joliet, Illinois 60432.

Bicentennial Park (Website)

Advertisements
About

Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. He spends his time adding new material to his websites, including Enchanted America, Disabled TV Characters, Screen Insults, TV Acres, and his latest website TV Character Nicknames. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Festivals and Parades

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog Stats
  • 295,340 hits
Our Other Websites

TV ACRES
http://www.tvacres.com/

SCREEN INSULTS
http://www.screeninsults.com/

DISABLED TV CHARACTERS
https://disabledtvcharactersblog.wordpress.com/

TV CHARACTER NICKNAMES
https://tvcharacternicknames.wordpress.com/

%d bloggers like this: