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Home » HISTORY » MAINE » The World’s Largest Snowman, Bethel, Maine
Olympia, the world's largest snow-woman     BY: Associated Press
The World’s Largest Snowman, Bethel, Maine

By Mark B. Oliver | December 22, 2010

Snowmen litter the New England landscape throughout winter, but none are likely to be as impressive as the snow-woman built in Bethel in 2008.

A Commemorative Shovel
BY & COPYRIGHT: Bethel Chamber of Commerce

The residents of Bethel, Maine, in an effort to boost tourism have twice constructed giant snowmen.   The first “Angus, King of the Mountain,” named after former Maine Governor Angus King, stood at 113’ 7” breaking the record held by Yamagata, Japan of 96’7”.   This was achieved on February 17, 1999 and he didn’t fully melt until June.

With nobody having broken their record, the residents of Bethel took to their shovels once again nearly a decade later in 2008 to build the world’s largest snow-woman.   The aim was again to bring attention to the town, and for the people of Bethel to work together on a community project.

Jim Sysko, and his daughter Mandy Ottone, both engineers, led the effort.   Bancroft Contracting supplied a crane and operator and Sunday River Ski Resort provided a team to make the majority of the tons of snow needed.   Jim Mann of Mt. Mann Jewelers designed and built a snowflake pendant that was over 6 feet in diameter.

This core group got the project started, but it could not have been completed without the help of nearly one hundred volunteers.

Local schools were enthusiastic supporters of the project with Mtn. Valley Middle School students, making the 16 foot diameter fleece hat.   Other schools made the nose and painted the lips (made of tires) red.

BY & COPYRIGHT: Bethel Chamber of Commerce

WBLM radio 102.9 Portland, Maine, ran a poll to name the snow-woman with the winner being “Olympia,” largely to commemorate Maine’s senior Senator, Olympia Snowe.

The giant snow-woman was completed on February 26, 2008, and towered above the surrounding landscape.   She was 122’1” tall.   The snow-woman had taken one month to complete.   To get an idea of scale, Olympia was about 30 feet shorter than the Statue of Liberty (without the base).

Olympia weighed 13,000,000lbs, had two 5 foot wreaths for eyes, 16 skis for eyelashes, 5 red tires for lips, a 130 foot scarf, two 30 foot spruce trees for arms, three truck loader tires for buttons and 2,000 feet of rope hair.

Olympia’s Maine mica pendant, now hangs in the office of the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce and Bethel’s world record, which was certified by the Guinness Book of Records, remains unbroken to this day.

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