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Mitch Irwin '74

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Snowman Trivia

The fastest way to melt snow: LSSU’s annual Snowman Burning

As with snowmen of the past, politics have an influential role in their design. The snowman of 2001 was no different. The Florida ballot was still the hot topic the following spring. In the foreground, students enjoy a sign of spring with daffodils.

As with snowmen of the past, politics have an influential role in their design. The snowman of 2001 was no different. The Florida ballot was still the hot topic the following spring. In the foreground, students enjoy a sign of spring with daffodils.

Here in Sault Ste. Marie, winters are as beautiful as they are long. Every year, right before “cabin fever” sets in, LSSU holds one of it’s most beloved and time-honored events. We here at Lake State burn a "snowman" to welcome spring! It is believed by some that the rising smoke from the fire will protect Sault Ste. Marie from additional winter weather.

As fun as this tradition is, it is also full of history. In March of 1971, a former LSSU organization called The Unicorn Hunters created this event. They got their idea from the Rose Sunday Festival in Weinheim-an-der-Bergstrasse, Germany, where the mayor burns a straw snowman to welcome spring in exchange for obedient children.

In recent years children have played an important role in the LSSU snowman burning ceremony. Traditionally, poetry is read at the ceremony and prizes are given to the most accomplished poet. However, now local area school children are encouraged to write poetry for the event.

Snowman IconThe snowmen throughout the years have consisted of little more than used paper, wood, wire and paint. It is remarkable that this tradition inspires so many students, faculty, and community members to come together and celebrate the changing of season.

The snowman burning that takes place every year is just another way of showing the community, the state and the world that we here at LSSU love Sault Ste. Marie—weather and all! Rather than bemoan the winter temperatures, we look forward to a brighter (often warmer) day. This idea extends to all aspects of campus life. After all, LSSU is here to see you reach and look forward to a brighter future.

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