Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Frosty returns to Faribault February 7, 2018


FOR ME, WINTER in Faribault wouldn’t be winter without the ginormous snowman standing in the front yard of an historic home at 18 Third Avenue Northwest.



Here the Hoisington family has crafted a giant Frosty for the past nine winters, first acquiring sufficient additional snow from church parking lots and now from the Faribault Ice Arena. This year’s snowman came to life in early December, although I sidetracked to view it for the first time several days ago.



I’ve seen and photographed this towering snowman for three, now four, years. Still, I react the same—with a broad smile. There’s something about a snowman, no matter it’s size, that recounts the winter fun of childhood. And that’s a good thing to remember when I tire of the cold and snow in the Bold North.


Click here to see my 2014 blog post on this snowman.

Click here to read the 2015 post.

And click here to read the 2016 post.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


Oh, the joy of building a snowman February 4, 2015

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RECENTLY, I HELPED my great niece build a mini snowman barely higher than my knees.

I taught 5-year-old Meghan how to roll balls, then how to pack snow so the head wouldn’t topple from the body. She was a quick learner.

Next, I sent her in search of twigs for arms. She roamed a snow-covered hillside, flash of purple against brilliant white.

Then we scavenged for stones for eyes.

Beneath the sprawling bare branches of an aged oak, I plucked fallen acorns for a nose and buttons.

Not the snowman my niece and I built, but rather a gigantic snowman built by the Hoisington family, 18 Third Ave. NW in Faribault.

Not the snowman my niece and I built, but rather a gigantic snowman at 18 Third Ave. NW in Faribault.

Together, with the aid of my eldest daughter, we hodge-podged a face that smiled back at us.

I’d forgotten what simple joy lies in creating a snowman.

In the Hoisington family's Faribault yard, this snowman is sure to make you smile.

In the Hoisington family’s Faribault yard, this snowman is sure to make you smile.

Sometimes that’s all it takes to lift yourself out of the winter blues, to chase away the worries of life, to ease the stress.

To view the world through the eyes of Meghan, who found nothing more delightful than building a snowman on a Saturday afternoon was a gift.

FYI: If the gigantic snowman featured here looks familiar, it’s because last year I photographed an over-sized snowman in this same Faribault yard. Click here to view last winter’s snowman.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling