Howard the Gnome ushers in Pumpkin Fest from his new home in Saanich

Howard stands tall in the fields at Galey Farms this October

Howard the Gnome made his work debut Friday afternoon in Saanich.

The gnome – known for his stance on Highway 1 in Nanoose Bay – moved south earlier this year and now greets guests at Galey Farms.

Howard was part of the big unveil during Friday’s grand opening of Pumpkin Fest at the farm. The large gnome had a lot of work done – he now blinks, has a friendly smile and his hand moves so he can wave. Howard is also still the world’s tallest gnome thanks to a Saanich bylaw exemption.

RELATED: Howard the Gnome finds a home in Saanich

Despite the height variance approved by Saanich council, Howard is only allowed to stay up for 90 days each year. Rob Galey, owner of Galey Farms Corn Maze, Market and Railway, plans to keep him up in October and then Howard will sleep indoors for the rest of the year so he doesn’t get weathered.

RELATED: Howard The Gnome expected to rise over Saanich in early October

Other treats for guests this spooky season include a second train, which Galey says will up capacity 50 per cent. Several attractions at the farm were also rebuilt and repainted in honour of the 20th anniversary of the corn maze and market. The train route at Galey Farms is accessible and the new train has a wheelchair car. Accessibility and inclusivity is very important to Galey.

Pumpkin Fest at Galey Farms Corn Maze, Market and Railway opens to the public Saturday, Oct. 5. The annual event runs October weekends 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit galeyfarms.net for ticket prices.

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Rob Galey warms up a new second train ahead of unveiling Howard the Gnome – now animated - to launch Pumpkin Fest at Galey Farms Corn Maze, Market and Railway which opens Oct. 6. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

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