Saturday, December 6, 2014

Our Favorite Tumbleweed Snowman is Back for the Season!

Once again the New Mexico team from the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority put together this iconic (and very large) snowman standing tall at 13 feet (14 if you count the welded steel cap atop his head).

 A crew from AMAFCA, including Christopher Cordova, standing on the wall, second from left, work to install tumbleweed snowman off of west bound Interstate 40, west of Carlisle in Albuquerque, N.M. 
Photo by Marla Brose/Albuquerque Journal

The AMAFCA has been creating these snowmen on the side of the freeway, every year since 1995. This year's snowman was created from three tumbleweeds collected from the South Valley earlier this month.

What started as a lark by flood control authority staff, a nod to the region’s aridity, has become an increasingly elaborate tradition. James Moya, a welder for the agency, has in recent years built an increasingly elaborate steel superstructure to hold the snowman together, complete with an adjustable center pole to lower his hat as the tumbleweeds shrink in the winter weather.

You can read more about this snowman, and the history of Albuquerque’s celebration of the tumbleweed (a classic story of American immigrant success) in John Fleck's article online in the Albuquerque Journal.

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