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Greg Novak, Minnesota farmer, creates granddaddy of a snowman

Minnesota Farmer Makes The Most Out Of Harsh Winter With Giant Snowman

GILMAN, Minn. (AP) -- A farmer in central Minnesota has created a towering tribute to winter's excess.

Greg Novak says he's invested hundreds of hours to build a 50-foot snowman named "Granddaddy" that he hopes will wake onlookers from their winter doldrums. And he admits it has some neighbors questioning his sanity.

Granddaddy began to take shape earlier this winter when the Gilman farmer needed to move mounting snow piles away from his greenhouses.

"As long as you're moving it, might as well do something practical with it," Novak said.

Friends and family pitched in to help with Granddaddy, or to do farm chores while Novak worked on building the snowman. Novak used skid loaders to pile snow and a silage blower to direct snow into stacked cylinders, the St. Cloud Times reported.

Gerald and Diane Harbarth were among the amused onlookers Sunday. They drove more than 70 miles from Brownton to get a look at the mammoth snowman.

The Harbarths learned about Granddaddy on a television news report, but craning their necks to see it in person was something else entirely.

"This is unreal," Gerald Harbarth said.

For Novak, that was the whole point of creating Granddaddy.

"It puts a smile on people's faces," Novak said. "When people smile, you know you've done a good thing."

Granddaddy is but a mere child compared to efforts in the small community of Bethel, Maine, in 2008. Residents there claim the world record for the tallest snowperson, a 122-foot snowwoman named Olympia after the state's then-U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe.

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lineman March 05 2014 at 9:09 AM

He was bored.

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one of us March 04 2014 at 2:23 PM

Now that's a snowman.

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tikitom March 04 2014 at 2:43 PM

Sooooo....... this is the Snowman that's keep'in Old Man Winter hang'in around.
I say... get a Mov'on Frosty..........Theres a New Marshal comm'in to Town ! SPRING !

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Kate March 04 2014 at 3:02 PM

That is hilarious! Good for you, Mr. Novak! Everyone is exasperated by winter (and we in CA can't stand blue skies, sigh)-- what a fantastic idea. I wish I could see it, but I bet your neighbors love it.

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1 reply
karl leinfelder Kate March 04 2014 at 3:22 PM

I really wonder how long into the spring and summer season the snowman will last before being completely melted away. Anyone have an estimate or guess?

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2 replies
NordicChicMN karl leinfelder March 04 2014 at 4:35 PM

karl leinfelder.......... A very long time, Karl. We've had 50 below zero days here this winter. It has only gotten above freezing here twice since November. This snowman will probably still be around well into May (or at least part of it will be).

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filliperogers karl leinfelder March 05 2014 at 8:29 AM

Isn't the longer the snow stays solid in the spring, some type of predictor for next years winter??

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loulou751 March 04 2014 at 3:27 PM


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prodriverlimoman March 05 2014 at 9:02 AM

looks great glad we did not have all that snow in NYC

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Sparky5229 March 05 2014 at 6:37 AM

I like ,looks great.

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Karen E. Miller March 04 2014 at 7:15 PM

CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!! Amazing!!!!!!!! Wish I could see it up close, but too far away. (AZ, originally from NY)

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patsailer March 04 2014 at 5:32 PM

There is another giant snowman in northern Michigan, near Traverse City.

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willmarranch March 04 2014 at 3:48 PM

I and my two brothers decorated a house in Co with 42000 Xmas lights one year, I could see kevs house from mine 4 miles away

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