The 46th Festival of the Gnomes, a live 90-minute show for all ages, will be held at 2 p.m. Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 at Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park Theatre.
The Joliet park and theater will host the seventh “The Drunk’n Gnome” at 8 p.m. Dec. 9 and Dec. 10. The show is for adults ages 18 and up.
The “Festival of Gnomes” all-age cast will show the audience of the gnomes’ good works for man and nature, how they outsmart the Snotgurgle troll and where they find the true meaning of the giving, holiday season.
“The Drunk’n Gnome” tells the story of the gnomes’ exploration of the meaning of Christmas after their watering hole gets a commercial makeover. The audience will learn gnomes and humans share similar problems in the 21st century (drinking, divorce and divas, according to Bicentennial Park) and they may share some of their stories at “The Drunk’n Gnome Tavern.”
Both “gnome” shows are meant to uplift people and inspire them to be their best. But each show does it differently, said Lori Carmine, park manager.
“The Festival of Gnomes represents everything that is good about humanity,” Carmine said. “The gnomes take care of nature, they respect each other, they’re responsible, they’re honest and truthful. And then ‘The Drunk’n Gnome’ is the exact opposite – and they just get lucky 10% of the time. They bring out the worst characteristics of humanity. ... It shows the true meaning of the holidays and how some people just get it wrong.”
Carmine said “Festival of Gnomes is an annual tradition for some families with four generations coming out to the show. It’s an opportunity for kids to see a live, interactive performance at a reasonable cost, too.”
The entire festival experience “really embodis the holidays and the holiday spirit without the commercialization of the holidays,” Carmine said.
“Kids can shop for their families in the market without spending a lot of money,” Carmine said. “They learn to be kind and to be nice to all you meet. It’s a very good message and a good way to start the holiday season. I can’t imagine not going it.”
According to Bicentennial Park, “The Drunk’n Gnome” show has a Gnomeland rating of “T” (for troll) and “G” for language and subject matter.
Lobby doors for the 46th Festival of the Gnomes open 1 p.m. for the Gnome Gift Shop, Cookie Factory and “Tavern on the Bricks.”
First year at the festival? Be sure to get a gnome cap.
Returning? Get a free tassel sewn to the cap to commemorate another gnome year.
Lobby doors and “Tavern on the Bricks” for “The Drunk’n Gnome” open at 7 p.m. “Tavern on the Bricks” is also open during intermission.
Goofy ornaments and a chance to win a one-of-a-kind drunk’n gnome creation are available in the “Gnomemade Gift Shop.”
First year? Be sure to get a gnome cap.
Returning? Get a free beer cap tassel sewn to the cap “to mark another year with the naughty gnomes,” according to Bicentennial Park.
At the show’s conclusion, the gnomes will lead the audience in singing the now classic “Drunk’n Gnome” theme song.
Tickets are $5 each for the 46th Festival of the Gnomes and $5 each for “The Drunk’n Gnome.”
The Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park and Theatre is located at 201 W. Jefferson St. in Joliet.
Parking is free in and around the park, with additional parking lots south of Jefferson Street. Despite Jefferson Street bridge being under repair, Bicentennial Par’s main entrance off Jefferson Street is still accessible.