NEW ULM — A chubby, bearded little guy has temporarily stepped away from his duties as a garden figurine and returned to serve as an ambassador for New Ulm businesses during a second summer construction season.

Karl the Konstruction Gnome is back on his job with the Highway 14/15 Gateway project.

The cartoonish figurine again switched his traditional pointy cap for the yellow hard hat and neon orange safety vest he'll wear throughout the New Ulm Area Business and Retail Association's “Gnome on the Road” campaign. The promotion is designed to encourage shoppers to support local businesses during the New Ulm construction project.

The gnome figurine will be hidden at Chamber's member businesses through Aug. 31. His location will be rotated once a week. Video clues as to where he is hiding will be posted at:

Participants enter a drawing for cash prizes by snapping "selfies" with Karl, then posting their images on the Chamber’s facebook page.

For complete contest rules, visit: For more information, send an email to: or call 233-4300.

Another well-known New Ulm figure — the giant Teutonic warrior Hermann who stands watch atop a hill on the west side of town — will soon be back on the job with the Chamber's campaign.

Minnesota Department of Transportation will use a cartoon version of the statue in the online video designed to help visiting motorists. For the video, Hermann will again puts down his sword and gets behind the wheel of a mini-bus carrying cartoon tourists throughout New Ulm. This year, the bus will follow a new route that includes the detours for the 2019 construction season.