Monday, February 20, 2012

The German Masses are Excited About Jakob!

“Jakob” is Germany’s largest snowman made
from real snow and was recently created for
the 27th time in Bischofsgrün in Upper Franconia.

Thank you to our cousin Kay in Germany, who sent us this
article about Germany's largest snowman in the town of Bischofsgrün. 

Here is [basically] what the article has to say:

Bischofgrün:  He’s 10 meters tall, weighs 200 tons and his top hat
is as big as a shower stall.
The community is expecting around a thousand visitors on Rosenmontag
(Monday before Ash Wednesday) as they celebrate Mardi Gras Carnival
at his feet.
Jakob’s originator is 74 year old Horst Heidenreich.  Twenty-seven
years ago the ski instruction built the first snowman in Bischofsgrün.

“The weather was bad so we couldn’t ski.  So I looked for something to do,”
says Heidenreich.  

He took a shovel and built a six meter tall snowman. Then he did it again
in the following years.  In the beginning he got pitying smiles from the
other village residents, but the lark turned into the event of the year
in the Fichtelgebirge (local mountain range/hills).  

“After three, four years more and more people wanted to help out
and Jakob got bigger and bigger,”
says Heidenreich.   

The height record for the snowman was reached in 2006 at 12.80 meters. 
Building him by hand isn’t possible any more.  The traditional building
of the snowman is now a job for men with heavy equipment.  About ten
helpers with tractors and front loaders help every year to transport
the 200 tons of snow from around Bischofsgrün.  Two hydraulic shovels
tamp down the snow on the market square into three snowballs.
To top him off, the three meter high hat is lifted up with a crane.  

In 2012 Jakob is only about 10.5 meters tall.  Due to the mild winter,
he probably won’t last very long.  The people of Bischofsgrün give him
about three weeks until his hat starts to tip to one side.  In hard winters
he stays until Easter.

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