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Farmer Builds Snowman 29 Feet Tall

December 24, 1991

GILMAN, Minn. (AP) _ That’s not Paul Bunyan towering over the farm of Leroy and Lorraine Novak, but it sure looks like him.

Their son, Greg, set out to build a ″different″ snowman this year. The idea snowballed. When the 32-year-old farmer was done, his creation was 26 feet high, topped by a 3-foot hat made of wire mesh and canvas.

″I guess I’m still a kid at heart, but I’m too big to build little snowmen,″ Novak said.

He piled the snow high with construction equipment and shaped it with a machete and a shovel. Then came the fun part - giving the snowman a personality.

Novak cut and painted plywood for the snowman’s eyes and his 8-foot-wide smile. His nose is half of a 5-gallon pail, and the yellow, orange and blue buttons down his front are covers from 5-gallon pails.

The snowman’s outreaching arms are 2-by-4s covered with gunnysacks and stuffed with straw. It took 22 more gunnysacks to make his scarf. And the hat is wire mesh covered with canvas, tacked in place by a steel fence post.

His creation has increased traffic on the normally quiet county road past the farm, about 60 miles northwest of Minneapolis in the north woods where the legendary superhuman lumberjack roamed with his blue ox, Babe.

The Novaks are happy to oblige visitors who want their picture taken with the snowman.

″You probably won’t see one like this around here for a while. It’ll put a smile on a few people’s faces,″ Novak said.

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