NOSTALGIA WEAVES into our lives the older we grow, time blurring the edges of memories. But then something comes along to jog the mind into recalling a sweet childhood memory. For me, that’s Faribo Frosty.
Since 2005, the Hoisington family has built my community’s version of Frosty the Snowman. I loved Frosty as a child—the song, the Little Golden book, the animated holiday cartoon narrated by Jimmy Durante. There’s something so compelling about a snowman that comes to life via a magical top hat. And when he melts, oh, the sadness.
But the melting of Faribo Frosty, given his robust size and current height of 17 or so feet, is not imminent. Lead creator Andy Hoisington cares for Frosty with the devotion of a man who recognizes the importance of his snowman. Families and grandparents and couples come to the corner of First Street Northwest and Third Avenue Northwest to see Faribo Frosty in the Hoisington’s front yard. I’ve been there with my grandkids, most recently a few weeks ago. When my granddaughter was two, she stretched her arms wide to hug Frosty. Couples have gotten engaged here and been photographed here to announce a pregnancy.
Ginormous Faribo Frosty, crafted with shaved ice from the local ice arena and from snow by Andy and his family (including adult sons Jake and Josiah and son-in-law Nick), attracts visitors from well beyond Faribault. He’s also been filmed for metro area television features, including KARE 11 Boyd Huppert’s “Land of 10,000 Stories.”
I’ve watched the Hoisingtons work on Frosty, shoveling shaved ice from a trailer, climbing a ladder to pack and shape the beloved snowman. He requires constant maintenance given Minnesota’s diverse winter weather. This is truly a labor of love after 18 years.
I am grateful for this family’s dedication to bringing joy into my community with their version of Frosty. Faribo Frosty makes me happy. He makes me smile with his wide smile, his bright carrot nose, his over-sized signature red scarf and mittens, even his black bucket pipe and his black top hat. Faribo Frosty is, in every way, nostalgically magical.
TELL ME: If you live in southern Minnesota, have you seen Faribo Frosty? If you live in another cold weather area, do you have a similar winter attraction or have you seen one?
© Copyright 2023 Audrey Kletscher Helbling