Update: The family trying to find a new home for Howard the World’s Tallest Gnome has revealed a short list of five places where the 7.91-metre-tall figure might be erected next.
This list was posted to the gnome’s Facebook page:
White River Resort, Sayward
Treasures, Curio and RV, Coombs
Log Cabin General Store, Parksville
Fast Time Grand Prix, Parksville
Galey Farms, Saanich
Along with this statement:
“We have narrowed it down to our final 5, although we appreciate each and every interested party and offer of support. We will be making our final decision on Tuesday. We are taking his longevity and care into account as well as ensuring he will continue to be in the family based environment he was originally built for.”
- - -
Howard the World’s Tallest Gnome may well be the world’s most popular gnome.
Close to 100 interested parties have put their names forward to take on the 7.91-metre-tall gnome, which needs to be relocated from its current Nanoose location, said advocate Bridget Matewish. Her grandfather Ron Hale constructed Howard at home.
The family will be reviewing offers mid-month, Matewish said on a new Facebook page dedicated to Howard the World’s Tallest Gnome.
This process will be “taking into account all things ... logistics, longevity, and who will take the best care of him for the duration of his life, and coming to a decision as a family,” Matewish said on Facebook. She could not immediately be reached today.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page with a goal of raising $15,000 for repairs to the gnome, now more than 20 years old. As of mid-day today, $265 had been raised.
“The money will be used to purchase him a brand new trailer to replace the rotten base he is currently on, completely repaint him, as well as repair his plaster hands and foam face. Any remaining money will be donated to the Parksville SOS to support those most vulnerable,” the GoFundMe page said.
In 2009, the Guinness Book of World Records deemed Howard to be the world's tallest gnome.
Howard stands at the Nanoose Bay Town Pantry and Chevron gas station, 1660 Island Highway, between Nanaimo and Parksville.
The gnome is currently owned by Parkland Fuel Corp. of Calgary, property owner. Matewish said she was told that the roadside attraction must be removed by the end of April or it will be taken down.
Hale built Howard to promote the now-closed family-run amusement park Kiddieland, renamed Gnomemansland. The family closed the park and opened a service station, eventually selling it and the gnome.