Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

From Faribault: #faribofrosty December 12, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME. The kids. The moms. The dads. The grandmas and grandpas. To see Faribault’s version of Frosty the Snowman.



Late Saturday afternoon, as day glided into the golden light of early evening, family after family pulled over at the corner of First Street Northwest and Third Avenue Northwest to take photos with a ginormous snowman created by the Hoisington family. It is their annual holiday gift to the community, a gift which brings lots of smiles and joy.



I witnessed that as kids and families posed for pictures with the towering snowman in the Hoisingtons’ front yard.





They came in their Paul Bunyan buffalo plaid and fur caps and hats, some with ear flappers, some not. They came in their boots and sneakers, their jeans, some ripped, some not. They came to see this towering snowman popular enough to now have his own hashtag, #faribofrosty.



I delighted in these families making memories on a cold December day in southern Minnesota.



Faribo Frosty embodies the spirit of giving. Faribo Frosty embodies the spirit of joy. Faribo Frosty embodies a sense of togetherness, of family, of community.



For a moment or ten, a snowman focuses thoughts and vision and the world seems a magical and happy place.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


37 Responses to “From Faribault: #faribofrosty”

  1. wyonne Says:

    Hi Audrey! Thanks for sharing the story about the Hoisingtons family in Faribault! I was on the phone talking with a friend here in Oslo, Norway, about the strong commercialism around Christmas. She said people have forgotten the meaning of ‘real sharing’ at Christmas and at that moment this ‘real sharing’ in Faribault was a blessing to see on pc screen!!

  2. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    I love that gigantic snowman! What a great tradition. How in the world do they get it so tall?

    • The local paper did a story on this snowman a year ago. The Hoisingtons get some of their snow from the Faribault Ice Arena and then build Frosty with their hands and shovels. They bring out an extension ladder as he grows in height. No fancy equipment. Just a labor of love that started with your usual average-sized snowman who grew and grew and grew.

  3. Colleen Hondl Gengler Says:

    I would love to know how the family makes Faribo Frosty, but maybe that’s a secret and part of the fun.

    • Colleen, they build Frosty by hand (literally) using hands and shovels and then pull out an extension ladder as he grows taller. Extra snow comes from the Faribault Ice Arena. They’ve built a giant Frosty now for about 10 years.

  4. Ruth Says:

    What a happy happy post. Makes me smile.

  5. Jackie Says:

    Now that’s a big snowman! I’m hoping the New Brighton Snow sculpture is finished and I will be able to see it today as it’s not far from my son’s house….we shall see?

  6. Claudette Says:

    My daughter would love it too!! Even at 11!

  7. Valerie Says:

    Our granddaughter, Zoey, can’t wait to make a snowman. We’ll have to get her down to see this big one! Gary and I made a small one in our back yard in the last snow storm…it’s little but it didn’t melt so Zoey was thrilled to see it! So fun!!!

  8. Bella Says:

    what a wonderful community holiday addition and to think it has its own hashtag. I loved your description … They came in their Paul Bunyan buffalo plaid and fur caps and hats, some with ear flappers, some not. They came in their boots and sneakers, their jeans, some ripped, some not. So easy to visualize these holiday visitors. anticipating a glimpse of this family’s workmanship coming in all directions

  9. Norma Says:


  10. Adorable! What a wonderful thing this family does!

  11. Norma Says:

    I’m sure Marc and Amber will take pictures of Isabelle and her reaction to the Snowman. I would love to see and hear her.

  12. Littlesundog Says:

    That’s a LOT of work to make a snowman that robust!! I thought maybe they used a tractor loader or a cherry picker bucket truck, but no… That’s impressive!

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