Monday, January 11, 2010

Giant Snowman Smiles For Northern Michigan Motorists

Sporting an American flag, "Frosty" the 20 foot tall snowman smiles and waves to motorists on U.S. 131 just south of Petoskey.

K. Johnston/EAGLE FI

JAN 11. 2010 - Northern Michigan residents Mike Daniel and Bud Gray needed something to do with their children this past weekend so they decided to build a snowman on a piece of Daniel family owned property on U.S. 131 just south of Petoskey. To make it interesting they built one twenty feet high.

Ellen Daniel (bottom) of Petoskey stands in front of the 20 foot tall Snowman that her grandchilden and their friends (left to right) Josh Daniel, Buddy Gray, Kyle Green, Leslie Green, Abby Gray, Brooke Tracy, Kayla Daniel and Kenny Reame helped build on her U.S. 131 property.

According to Daniel it’s his mother’s love of snowmen that gets credit for the idea of building a snowman. “We needed something to get the kids out of the house.” said Gary “These days it’s to expensive to do much and snow is free.”

Saturday, Gray and Daniel broke out the snowplow and a loader to do the rough shaping and then put the kids and their friends to work with hands and snow shovels finishing and decorating the monster snowman that would become known as “Frosty”. Daniel’s son Josh came up with the idea for the coffee can eyes that go well with the sculptures traffic cone nose, croquet mallet pipe and bright red scarf. Frosty measures seventeen feet from the base of his short side to the tip of his hat. Daniel guesses that he should be at least twenty feet high if measured on the taller downhill profile.

By noon Sunday the families and their friends were cooking hotdogs over a bonfire and fielding questions from motorists and snowmobilers who had stopped to satisfy their curiosity or have their picture taken atop the friendly smiling giant. Daniel and Gray estimated that by 1:30 that afternoon more than a hundred people from places as far south as Bay City, Lansing and Ann Arbor had stopped to see their giant piece of snow artwork.

An Okemos man (left) takes a photo of his friends from Ann Arbor and Lansing as they stand atop "Frosty".

For the time being and as long as there’s no magic in the this Frosty’s fashionable dump truck tire and 55 gallon barrel hat that brings him to life the thousands of motorists that pass the property everyday will be able to enjoy his tree branch wave and smiling face.

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