Move aside, Frosty and the Abominable Snowman — you’ve got some competition. He’s nearly 16 feet tall, and he lives in a front yard right here in Central Oregon.
For the Kitchin family on Jackpine Avenue in Redmond, last weekend’s winter storm was a chance for some innovation.
“It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you can get your two strapping boys off the video games,” dad Robert Kitchin chuckled, speaking to Central Oregon Daily News in front of their prized snowman on Wednesday.
He and his sons Aris and Harlowe, along with a family friend, spent five long hours packing and shaping the snow into a towering, 16-foot creation.
They built a frame out of boards and used a ladder to climb on top of the mounds of snow and pack it down.
They used a few odds and ends for the finishing touches — a pipe from a sprinkler system for the mouth, kayak portholes for the eyes, a landscape bucket for the hat, beef jerky jar tops for the buttons and PVC pipes for the arms.
And of course, a REAL corn cob for the pipe and a carrot nose.
“We have a knack for taking things to the extreme,” Aris said. “We also go pretty heavy on Halloween. We’re known for being the scariest house in the neighborhood.”
It isn’t their first snowman, either. Throughout the years, they’ve created other tall figures in the yard, but none of them ever this large.
“It’s rare that we have this much snow, and as wet as it was,” Robert added.
The Kitchins own and operate Central Oregon Adult Foster Care, and one of their residents, 93-year-old former engineer Bill Walker, was all too happy to direct the process.
“It’s hard to believe really, a snowman that big. It was fun, and very enjoyable to see it going up,” he told Central Oregon Daily News on Wednesday.
Though the snowman started at 16 feet, a couple of sunny days knocked off some height in the days following the assembly.
But that hasn’t stopped countless visitors from taking in the snowy spectacle, like neighbors Jim and Raychelle Roth.
“It’s nice to see that creativity in our neighborhood and to see the fun that people have had watching it, seeing it,” Raychelle said.
“It’s great to see the smiles on people’s faces,” Robert added. “And, you know, the kids and the adults, they just can’t believe it.”
As far as anyone knows right now, it’s the largest snowman in Central Oregon.
We asked the man himself a few words about how he feels about the accomplishment.
He might be the strong, silent type, but he’s eager to greet visitors for as long as he’s able.
“It’s going to be a tough one to top,” Robert said. “We have bets it’ll be here ’til May.”