In the world of real, living gnomes, gigantism is a fatal defect. You’d get stuck crawling into your tree. You’d be easily spotted and either eaten by some forest carnivore, or captured and probed by some mad scientist or aspiring P.T. Barnum.
But in the world of roadside attractions, the most famous garden gnome is the biggest, and itty-bitty doesn’t count.
Thus the former World’s Largest Garden Gnome, in Kerhonkson, New York, certified by Guinness World’s Records, is no longer quite as worthy of our collective awe. It’s been bested by a 15-foot-tall gnome that has just been installed in the Reiman Gardens of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. The portly, towering Midwestern gnome is the centerpiece of Reiman’s “Celebration of Garden Ornamentation” theme.
The folks in Ames point out that their gnome is merely the world’s largest concrete gnome, shorter than a 17-footer made of fiberglass somewhere in Poland, and modeled as an exact replica of a concrete lawn ornament, not a real gnome. But these caveats are cold comfort for Kerhonkson, which now must bulk up its gnome a good four feet to recapture its former glory, or settle for the title of World’s Largest Free-to-View Concrete Gnome.
Reiman Gardens, just south of the football stadium. From US Hwy 30 exit north onto University Blvd. You can see the Gardens immediately by looking north. Then take a left at the second stoplight into the stadium parking lot.
May-Sep. daily 10-6 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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