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Three cities preparing to build armies of snowmen this weekend

"Frosty", the traveling trophy designed for the competition.
Dan Lockwood
St. Clair DDA
"Frosty", the traveling trophy designed for the competition.

Zeeland, St. Clair, and Saline are competing this weekend to take home the "Snowman Building Champion of the Free World" trophy.

Art Trapp is Saline’s Downtown Development Director.

“In our community we don’t see a lot of activity downtown during the winter and we thought this was one way to get people off their couch.”

The other point of the competition is to see which community can build the most 4-foot-tall snowmen with 50 volunteers in 2 hours.

Trapp has been working on their strategy. He bought 8 30-gallon garbage cans so they can shovel snow into them and dump the snow out sort of like a giant sandcastle bucket.

“I went and bought ten cans of Pam last night to spray the insides of the buckets so that the snow will slide out easier. I don’t know if you call that strategy but that’s what I’m doing.”

Zeeland is only minutes away from Lake Michigan. Marketing Director Abby deRoo argues they’ll have the freshest snow best for packing. But officials in St. Clair and Saline have been stockpiling it.

St. Clair Downtown Development Director Dan Lockwood says it’s all about strategy.

“To build a snowman in a competitive environment is really very strenuous. I mean you’re going to sweat like a pig. It is tough so what we’ve done is we’ve broken it down into 30 minute segments.”

The rules say only 50 people can work on the snowmen at once. So Lockwood plans to have 4 groups of 50 volunteers working up a sweat in 30 minute blocks.

“What do you think of a snowman laying down? Who says he’s got to be up? So you’ve got a snowman getting a suntan. So I mean you can really have some fun with this.”

Besides bragging rights, the winner gets a nearly 3 foot tall wood (made from pine from Michigan) carved trophy named "Frosty" until next year’s competition.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.