Winter Holidays – Snowman
2009 Contemporary Christmas
Issue Date: October 8, 2009
City: New York, NY
Making a snowman is a time-honored winter tradition, as laughing children build and decorate the snowman. If Mom (or Dad) is alert, then mugs of steaming hot cocoa (with marshmallows, please!) are waiting when the rosy-cheeked builders trudge back inside and shed their winter clothes. Snowman construction, however, is more than child’s play; it is a serious feat of engineering.
First, the right kind of snow is needed for a snowman. “Packing” snow needs to be moist and sticky. If it’s too powdery, the snow won’t stick together. To start a snowman, you need to make a snowball and keep packing snow on it until it’s too big to hold. Then, set it on the ground and start rolling it around the yard, until it gets too heavy to move. Make two similar balls of snow, each slightly smaller, and stack them on top of the first. Nearly anything can be used to decorate and add detail to the snowman – carrot nose, sticks for arms, buttons for the mouth, and stones for the eyes.
So far, the largest snowman on record was built in Bethel, Maine, in 2008 and stood more than 122 feet high. It was named after Senator Olympia Snowe. It beat the old record set in 1999 (also in Bethel). That year, “Angus, King of the Mountain,” was 113 feet high and weighed 9,000,000 pounds.