Beloiters arriving downtown on Sunday morning were greeted by a 40-foot snowman, bedecked in his Beloit International Film Festival scarf and puffing on his pipe. It’s hard to miss a giant smiling snow sculpture looking something akin to an icy Jabba the Hut, but in case you’re having trouble finding it, it’s located at the intersection of Grand Avenue and State Street in the center of the city and can be seen for blocks. He definitely caught the attention of local TV station WREX out of Rockford.
“It is a gift to Beloit as a show of our support for the Beloit International Film Festival,” says creator and local contractor Bill Dorr.
Biffy the Snowman was inspired by the film Snowmen, produced by local businesswoman Diane Hendricks. The film will have one of its first public showings at the festival. BIFF opens its sixth year today, and runs through Sunday.
“The idea for building the snowman was easy, but could not have been done without the support of many businesses and hard-working friends,” Dorr says. City administrators accepted the plan, a local engineer offered his expertise, and First National Bank employees were pleasant about giving up their parking spaces for a few days.
Dorr estimates it took 130 man hours of work and may have cost him a few friendships. “But it isn’t the first crazy idea we have had. My friends should expect things like this,” he adds. “Without the labor of many crazy neighbors and friends, this could not have been done.”
Biffy the Snowman will remain where he sits until the close of BIFF. On Monday, he will join the likes of Frosty and quietly disappear, job finished for the year.
For more information on BIFF 2011, visit www.beloitfilmfest.org.