Now that's a snowman

Credits: DEREK RUTTAN/ The London Free Press /QMI AGENCY


LONDON, Ont. -- Maybe it was all that waiting, but when Bob Mann made his snowman, he went big.

The six-metre snowman, sporting a dapper top hat, stands in the front yard of his home on Godfrey Dr., in the Huron and Highbury area.

Mann planned to build the snowman last year, fashioning the top hat out of a 20-litre pail and sewing four scarves together.

What he didn't count on was a freakishly mild winter with almost no snow.

When London finally got its first big snowfall this winter, Mann was ready to roll.

"I made an 11-foot snowman a few years ago. It was either go big or go home," he said.

Creating the towering figure took a bit of engineering.

Mann said he "cheated" by building plywood boxes for each layer and filling them with snow.

The snow came from "everywhere" -- his yard, his neighbours' yards and a bank across the street.

The squares made it easier to climb and hoist up the snow with the help of ladders and scaffolding. The square blocks were then carved out and smoothed to create the round snowman shape.

Mann started building the snowman last Friday with the help of his wife Antonella, daughter Tamara, 8, his nephew Michael Gervais and his friend Brenden Lee.

The crew worked until Sunday night when the snowman's top hat was lowered into place.

Mann's snowman is the talk of the neighborhood and has become a star on Facebook. It even drew some astonished visitors from Tennessee who were visiting family in London.

The giant snowman could fall prey to a January thaw but Mann said he will enjoy it while he can.

"If it lasts two weeks, I'm happy."

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