MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Between the biting winds and the snow storms, it’s been a tough winter to be a Minnesotan.
Central Minnesota is digging out of 4.5 feet of snow, and some people are running out of places to put it.
Not Greg Novak.
His farm is home to one of the bright spots this winter that’s bringing huge smiles to people’s faces.
“It’s a smile idea. Building a snowman isn’t original,” Novak said. “Building one this big is a little different.”
It’s a little different, and a lot bigger.
Novak created the snowman from snow that was crushing his green houses where he was starting to grow vegetables on his farm in Foley, Minn.
As he hauled away the snow, he decided he might as well do something with it.
Several friends and heavy machinery helped create a massive winter mascot.
The process took two months and involved a skid loader and silo blower to pile up the snow. As each layer froze, the fencing was moved up to create the next part of the snowman’s body.
“When he started building it, I was like, you’ve got to be kidding me, right? It’s huge!” Tyler Miller, Novak’s nephew, said. “It’s a lot of work. I wasn’t here a lot, but it was a lot of work, I give him credit.”
Fifty feet of snow later, the snowman, nicknamed “Grand Daddy” to honor the farm’s centennial year, is complete.
The snowman’s eyes are six feet tall by four feet wide. A 55-gallon garbage pail sits as a nose, and three 55-gallon lids are used for buttons. A 60-foot grain auger with branches tied on for hands was shoved through the middle to make arms waving to passing drivers.
“Every five or six cars that drive by are taking a picture or blowing their horns now that it’s done,” Novak said. “One of my neighbors picks his kids up from daycare every day and drives by because the kids want to know what it looks like.”
Do people think he’s crazy?
Novak joked he’s heard them call him that more than once, but seeing the smiles on visitor’s faces makes it worth the while.
“It’s been a long, hard winter. We might as well have fun with it. If you can’t beat it, embrace it,” he said.
This isn’t the first time Novak’s farm has been home to a snow spectacle.
After the blizzard of 1991, he built a 29-foot tall snowman. That one didn’t melt until Easter of that year.
He said he’s not sure when this one will be leaving the farm, but it’s likely not anytime soon.
Novak’s farm is located just north of Highway 25 and 105th Avenue NE in Foley.