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Corncob pipe and button nose: Giant snowman towers over Alberta acreage

Thursday, January 16th 2020, 1:33 pm - Tarps, cardboard and an excavator were used to construct the friendly frosty giant.

Building a regular snowman can be challenging enough but one Alberta couple has taken the task to new heights, constructing one that stands nearly as tall as a two-storey home.

The giant snow sculpture sits on the edge of the Sarvas family acreage near the village of Warburg, about 90 kilometres southwest of Edmonton.

Frosty is 23 feet tall and comes complete with all the traditional trappings of his namesake — top hat, corncob pipe and button nose.

"With this one, we added some extra elements. There is a sled hill on the back with snow stairs," said Janet Sarvas in an interview with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.

"You can also stand up on top of the head and look over the hat."


Janet Sarvas said her husband Rob Sarvas, a contractor and the owner of Sarvas Construction, did most of the work with an excavator.

"My husband is very skilled with his machines," Sarvas said.

"It's a three-acre property but about an acre of it now has almost no snow because Rob scraped it up. He scraped up a lot of snow to make that snowman."

Sarvas said Frosty was constructed as a Christmas gift for their two-year-old granddaughter. It took four days to complete and required some unconventional construction methods.

The silk top hat was made from tarp and chicken wire. The pipe and nose were crafted from cardboard.

"He actually built a sort of a girdle, if you will, so he could pile in the snow, so it would stick together," she said.

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"You can't really roll those big balls of snow. He would sort of pile it in … and then take off that girdle part and put it on the next piece and then sort of shape it with his bucket."

Sarvas constructed an 18-foot snowman in 2013 but the "fellow melted too quickly" and they were keen to have another in time for the holiday season.

"On December 22, he started scraping up the snow and he had it built by December 25 so we could enjoy it on Christmas Day," she said.

With Alberta in the midst of a punishing cold snap, it may be a long while before he melts away.

"I thought maybe he was going to disappear after Christmas Day but he's still there ... and with a nice feather dusting of snow to keep him looking clean."

This article was written for the CBC by Wallis Snowdon.


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