In a day filled with marathons, parades and food, the inaugural Gnome Festival and Dam Run in Castaic on Saturday saw hundreds of Santa Clarita Valley residents and visitors in attendance.
The day kicked off with a half marathon and 5K run set against the scenery surrounding Castaic Lake, according to event organizers.
The first place winner of this year’s marathon, Joel Limo, had flown from Kenya to participate in the event, and was able to complete the Half Marathon in an hour and ten minutes.
“It was a 21-hour flight, but I had a very good time,” said Limo.
“A lot of what we see out here is kids just being able to let go and parents having a space where they can let go,” said Jeremiah Dockray, a Castaic Town Council member as well as the owner of Santa Clarita Valley Adventure Play. “We always try at all sorts of events to provide kids with a space like this.”
After the race, families and runners attended the Gnome Festival set beside the lake. In addition to a number of local vendors, live music and a beer garden, there were also a number of booths both parents and kids could visit for family fun.
Also there for the family to enjoy together was a variety of games, such as corn hole, that families could enjoy for free.
Koen and Jace Osbog were playing corn hole with their dad and although they said there favorite games were either Minecraft, a video game, or basketball, they were enjoying their time in the sun with the beanbags.
“We just wanted to come out and support the community,” said Amy Osborg, Koen and Jace’s mother. “Plus, anything with gnomes.”
According to event organizers, the event was named after Castaic’s love for gnomes, which became a solidified tradition when gnomes began to frequently appear in and around the Castaic roundabout, which was then dubbed “Gnome Island.”
The event was designed to benefit a number of local nonprofits, as well as the schools located in the Castaic Community, said Jessica Chambers, president of the Castaic Town Council.
“The run helps benefit the local schools, and the money raised from the festival goes back to the local nonprofits,” said Chambers.