BETHEL – There’s a new big-time female celebrity in town.

Early Tuesday evening, Bethel bested its 1999 world’s tallest snowman, Angus, with a 122-foot-tall snowwoman.

Volunteers shoveled and stomped crane-lifted snow within a 4-foot-high form, layer by layer for a total of 27 layers stacked atop a 16- to 20-foot-high snow base.

“I’m just relieved that the building process is over,” project engineer Jim Sysko of Newry said of the 13- to 14-million pound solid-snow monument. “We’ve been at it for 28 straight days. … There was a real drive at the end to get it high enough.”

Prior to removing the top two layers of cabled-together circular forms, Sysko said the glacial masonry monolith measured 117 feet, 4 inches.

After more snow was added to a cone of snow atop the head that will be hidden under a huge fleece knit-hat, licensed West Bethel surveyor Gary Inman of Points North Surveying made the official measurement of an inch over 122 feet, according to Robin Zinchuk, executive director of the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce.

And like the earlier record-setting Angus, the big snow mama, whose name will be announced on the WBLM morning show today, has already started listing a bit toward the south.

“It’s a big glacier and glaciers are slowly moving,” project engineer Jim Sysko said on site. “It’s caused by the sun working on one side. We did try to compensate for that by leaning it a little bit toward the north. She looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.”

Sysko said Angus began leaning substantially backwards 35 days after being built.

With the snowwoman erected, work began late Tuesday afternoon to place her facial features and fashion accessories. That’s expected to continue today and into Thursday, barring complications from a snowstorm that began Tuesday, Sysko said.

By Tuesday evening, the snowwoman’s ski-slat eyelashes affixed to tire-eyes were lifted into place and anchored using a cage attached to Bancroft Contracting’s crane-boom cable.

The cage was brought in from Bancroft’s Paris headquarters after the basket on a 120-foot United Rentals lift broke. That is expected to be repaired today, Sysko said.

Three large skidder tires that resemble giant hockey pucks will be used for buttons. Using white paint, the front-facing sides of the buttons were each hand-painted “Bethel Maine.”

Before being lifted in the cage with volunteer Robert Westfall of Bethel to cut away cables holding the last two layer forms, Sysko drilled holes into each skidder tire. Each button will be spaced along a single rope, then lifted as one and anchored into place on Wednesday.

Other decorations include a fleece scarf, a giant nose, lipstick red-painted tires for her mouth, and two 30-foot Bethel spruce trees for arms.

For jewelry, she will sport what’s billed as the world’s largest Maine mica pendant. It is a 6- to 7-foot diameter pendant made from mica in the shape of a snowflake by Bethel jeweler Jim Mann of Mt. Mann Jewelers.

Once everything is in place, starting at 10 a.m. Friday, a dedication celebration will be held at her base in the empty lot on Cross Street off Route 26 and Parkway road.


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