Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

January 21, 2011

Larger than life

Family builds snowman as big as their house

By Britney Milazzo
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

NEWFANE — Every few minutes, passers-by stop or slowdown in front of the Bailey family’s Lockport-Olcott Road home to gaze at a snowman that locals said is the largest they have ever seen.

The more than 18 foot snowman is an annual creation by Newfane High School students Brittany Bailey, 18, and Jeremy Bailey, 16, and their parents Robert and Kathy.

“My son came up with the idea to make snowmen that stand out a few years ago,” Robert Bailey said. “Sometimes we make a big one, other times we build a whole bunch of smaller ones, but we do it every year ... It’s a family affair.”

Robert Bailey said he and his family estimated on Wednesday that the snowman stood more than 18 feet high — the largest they ever crafted — but the warmer weather the last few days has melted it down slightly.

“It’s been too warm lately, but Jeremy plans on rebuilding it up a little more by (today),” Robert Bailey said.

Robert Bailey said the art of making a snowman that large is not as hard is it looks.

“We started from the bottom and made stacks of snow to haul to the top,” Robert Bailey said.

Luckily, the Baileys own a backhoe that allowed them to reach the height of the snowman.

And for the face, it is not made out of a corncob pipe and button nose and two eyes made out of coal.

“We actually used large pieces of felt to make the face,” Robert Bailey said. “It’s been Brittany’s job to cut out the pieces for the face and buttons.”

Jeremy Bailey said it took him about 15 hours worth of work to make the snowman, with the help of his sister and parents.

“It’s fun and it stands out and it’s something I think we’re going to do in future years,” Jeremy Bailey said. “We get a lot of laughs and comments from our neighbors.”

And the biggest pleasure the Baileys said they get out of making the snowman — besides spending quality family time together — is watching the people who stop in front of their house to admire their creation.

“At one time we noticed people stopping every three minutes to look at it or take pictures,” Robert Bailey said.

Neighbor, Linda Bixler said she is in awe of its size.

“It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” Bixler said. “It gives a little character to our street.”

Contact reporter Britney Milazzo at 439-9222 ext. 6251.