Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The magic of Faribo Frosty December 19, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


WHEN I POSTED ABOUT #faribofrosty last week, a blogger and reader from Pittsburgh asked for under-construction photo documentation of the mega snowman in the front yard of the Hoisington family home in Faribault.

Well, I didn’t have any sculpting images. I knew only that Andy Hoisington, assisted by other family members, shapes the gigantic snowman by hand, literally, and by shovel. Andy pulls out a ladder (he’s a painter) when Frosty grows beyond his reach. Andy is tall, btw.

All of this handcrafting is quite an accomplishment really given the snowman’s height, which is maybe 15 feet (just guessing here). Magical, you might say.

Visual proof of how Faribo Frosty came to be eluded me. Until Saturday. My 2 1/2-year-old granddaughter was in town for a long overdue overnight stay. And on our list of to-do items was posing for photos with Frosty. Izzy is at that magical age of discovery. Frosty would impress her.

But, when we pulled up to view Frosty, we saw a snowman stripped of his bright red scarf, his top hat, his pipe, his arms, even his face. Not particularly exciting, a blob of snow.


Andy and Jake work on Faribo Frosty early Saturday afternoon.


Then I remembered the request from Ruth in Pittsburgh to take photos of the snowman under construction. While this was repair rather than an original build, it still documents the process. I rolled down the van window and shot a few frames. Then I asked Andy when he and his son Jake would be done with their work. Frosty was suffering from heat-related issues. Yes, a day of 30-plus-degree temps in December sunshine is not good for a snowman, even one as big as Faribo Frosty.


Andy, lead snowman builder.

“Come back in two hours,” Andy shouted from high on the ladder.


Grandpa and Izzy build their own Frosty in our backyard.



Well, that wouldn’t work for us. We had a vintage snowmobile show to attend, a stop at the library for books and then back home so Izzy could build a snowman with Grandpa before making roll-out Christmas cookies. Then we had to get to the children’s Christmas service at church by 5:30 p.m. Frosty would have to wait until Sunday. Izzy seemed fine with that given she could now glimpse her very own snowman from the kitchen window. She refused, though, to pose for a photo. In fact, she told me to “Go back inside, Grandma,” when she spotted me poking my head out the back door with my camera.


Izzy gets her first close-up look at Faribo Frosty in Grandpa’s arms.





Thankfully on Sunday, Izzy mostly cooperated. She even hugged Frosty when I prompted her. It was a sweet and magical moment. This would be a much better world if we all paused to hug a snowman.



We fit in our photo shoot before a group of Vikings, and Faribo Frosty, fans arrived. While we were there, drivers and passengers in two vehicles also slowed down for a look. This snowman’s popularity has soared given his new social media presence. He’s making a lot of people happy, including me and my granddaughter.



Thank you, Hoisington family, for your ongoing efforts to bring holiday joy to the Faribault community. I appreciate you. And so does Izzy.

FYI: Faribo Frosty is located at the intersection of First Street Northwest and Third Avenue Northwest in Faribault (18 Third Ave. N.W. precisely).

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


27 Responses to “The magic of Faribo Frosty”

  1. Adorable and so glad Izzy got more in the mood on Sunday so you could get some cute shots. That hugging one is perfect in every way. Thanks for sharing Frosty.

  2. Valerie Says:

    We took Zoey to see Frosty on Friday before the parade, but another event Ezra slept through. We’ll stop by again now that he’s more on schedule.

  3. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    This is very sweet. Izzy certainly had a full visit with you! I love the photo of the snowman she got to make with Grandpa.

  4. I love this and what wonderful memories for your granddaughter!

  5. Deb Hoisington Says:

    I’m so happy you brought your granddaughter back for a picture Audrey! The snowman hug was sweet. Frosty is definitely losing weight the past few days but I imagine my husband will be back out there on Saturday morning to put a little weight back on him 😉 We received your card in the mail today….so sweet, thank you!

  6. Ruth Says:

    Hooray! Loved your post today Audrey, especially that sweet hug for Frosty pic with your granddaughter❤️ I appreciate your efforts to fill us in on the construction details. I had two friends ask me. Thank you so much, Audrey. Hats off to the Hoisingtons, too. Merry Christmas
    P.S. can’t wait to see vintage snowmobiles!

  7. Ruth Says:

    Reblogged this on Cardboard Me Travels and commented:
    Check out Fairibault Frosty on Minnesota. Wish Flat Ruthie could stand and pose with him. Great post Audrey

  8. How cute and heartwarming. I think your grand daughter’s snowman was up to no good.LOL Just loved this post!!!

  9. Bernadette Says:

    Loved this sweet story about Faribo Frosty. Izzy’s comments to the would-be-photographer are familiar to this grandma too. At a certain age, kids seem to get annoyed with cameras, but you caught her in her best pose and she didn’t even know it. Now that’s great photography! Have a wonderful Merry Christmas.

  10. Sandra Van Erp Says:

    Priceless, absolutely priceless. M-a-y-b-e MN will start living up to its reputation after Jan. 1, or it might just be “one of those years”. Did I miss the story behind how the Hoisington’s got motivated to start this gift to all? Next year we expect a full construction essay and photo report from the very beginning, ok?

  11. Dan Traun Says:

    What an awesome snowman, er, ah, snow person. I understand naming it Faribo Frosty given the sensitivities these days.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.