Gnomes will be roaming Elgin
Get ready to spot a pair of colorful, flag-bearing gnomes at businesses throughout Elgin in preparation for the city's International Festival, or iFest.
iFest will feature food, performers, music, crafts and more from around the world Saturday, Aug. 29 along Riverside Drive in downtown Elgin.
The gnomes will be in charge of getting people excited about the fourth annual iFest via social media, said Barb Keselica, special events and community engagement manager for the city of Elgin.
"We thought it would be a good fit to have gnomes as mascots roaming around town, so people can go take pictures of it at different locations," she said.
The idea is modeled on the online travel agency Travelocity's "roaming gnome" that makes appearances throughout the world, she said.
People will get clues about the whereabouts of the Elgin gnomes via iFest's Facebook site and Instagram account @elgin_ifest, and will be encouraged to take selfies with the gnomes and upload them to social media with the tag #elginifest, said Molly Center, the city's social media coordinator.
The gnomes are expected to start roaming around Elgin next week, Keselica said. There will be a yet-to-be-determined contest open to people who find the gnomes, she added.
"We'll try to start with the (businesses) that are part of iFest to get them more recognition. We also might add some local businesses as well. Obviously, the more the merrier."
Also part of iFest will be the "Gnomes for Homes" initiative, where gnomes decorated by artists will be on sale for $25, with all proceeds going to PADS of Elgin.