A beloved figure is back in Minocqua and unlike some fair weather friends, he’s here for the duration of the winter season.
Minocqua Area Chamber staff and volunteers spent Tuesday through Thursday building and shaping Snowmy Kromer, the 2018 edition of the 30-foot snowman that captured the imagination of people near and far back in 2015.
“He is named (Snowmy Kromer) due to a contest that was had back in about 2008 when we received our Stormy Kromer cap,” she said. “It’s size 96 ‘cause he’s got a very big head.” Local businesses donated the use of heavy equipment and operators to haul snow and to place the large Stormy Kromer-style cap on his head. (Stormy Kromer hats are made in Ironwood, Mi.)
Chamber Executive Director Krystal Westfahl says the widespread favorable response to the snowman after it was built in 2015 was amazing. (Last year saw little snow early in the season so it wasn’t built.)
“It’s size 96 ‘cause he’s got a very big head.” Stormy Kromer Mercantile CEO Bob Jacquart designed the fabric cap – one of only two that size in the world made especially for a snowman. “We had really no crazy intentions about doing some marketing plans with him, but we put him on social media and pushed him out to a couple of different stations and channels across the state and even across the country,” she said. “He ended up going viral. So he made national news ... went around the world. We had phone calls from Nova Scotia and Singapore, not to mention a few others. Australia, we had a few calls from. “We didn’t realize quite what a stir Snowmy Kromer actually was going to be until it happened. So we are very excited to have him back and we’ll see if he makes the same type of viral buzz he did two years ago.”
Along with his 30-foot height, his other measurements are button busting huge: “At the base he is 24 feet across” Westfahl continued. “His belly area is about 16 feet across. And his head is about eight feet across. He’s made up of essentially two tiers of snow fencing. When you are standing at his base, he is about eight feet tall (in the first tier). So he’s quite enormous when you’re standing next to him. “His buttons are just made out of cardboard and other types of material. We’ve had plywood buttons before. He’s got a orange emergency cone for a nose that’s been spray painted and PVC pipe for his smoking pipe.”
The chamber estimates the local area received a quarter-million dollars of equivalent advertising impact because of Snowmy Kromer. As a result of the publicity, the Minocqua Chamber won the 2015 Trailblazer Award at the Wisconsin Association of Convention and Visitor Bureau’s Fall Tourism Conference for creating a cost effective campaign to draw winter tourism to the Minocqua area.