The town of Bethel, Maine (pop. 2,411) constructed a towering snow woman that set a Guinness World Record in 2008. The snow sculpture weighed in at 13 million pounds — about 5,392 pounds for each resident of her hometown.
Olympia, as the snow woman was dubbed, sported a 6-foot Maine mica pendant and 130-foot scarf. Her ruby red lips were fashioned from automobile tires and her eyelashes from snow skis.
The construction, which took place during January and February 2008, was a true community project with about 170 volunteers donating their time and resources.
Elementary school children assembled the snow woman’s “carrot” nose with muslin and chicken wire stretched on a wooden frame and middle school students made her 48-foot round fleece hat.
The snow woman was dedicated Feb. 29, and melted completely July 30, five months after she was constructed.
At 122 feet, 1 inch tall, Olympia broke a record set by Bethel in 1999. The town’s previous record-setting snowman weighed in at 8 million pounds and was 113 feet, 7 inches tall.
Winter temperatures remain well below freezing and there’s plenty of snow in Bethel, but it’s not one of the country’s snowiest cities.
In fact, Caribou, in the northeast tip of the state, is the only Maine town that makes the Top 10 list of snowiest cities in the United States.
Based on average annual snowfall, the 10 snowiest cities followed by their annual snowfall are:
- Blue Canyon, Calif., 240.8 inches
- Marquette, Mich., 144.5 inches
- Sault Ste Marie, Mich. 116.7 inches
- Syracuse, N.Y., 111.6 inches
- Caribou, Maine, 110.4 inches
- Mount Shasta, Calif., 104.9 inches
- Lander, Wyo., 102.5 inches
- Flagstaff, Ariz., 99.9 inches
- Sexton Summit, Ore., 97.8 inches
- Muskegon, Mich., 97.0 inches
The 10 all-time coldest temperatures reported in the United States were in the following cities:
- Prospect Creek, Alaska, -80 degrees
- Rogers Pass, Mont., -70 degrees
- Peters Sink, Utah, -69 degrees
- Riverside, Wyo., -66 degrees
- Maybell, Colo., -61 degrees
- Tower, Minn., -60 degrees
- Parshall, N.D., -60 degrees
- Island Park Dam, Idaho, -60 degrees
- McIntosh, S.D., -58 degrees
- Couderay, Wis., -55 degrees
* Climate data courtesy of the National Weather Service.