For 10 years Jacob, 12, and his dad, Ryan Vath, of Franklin have built a snowman either in Fountain Park or on the Venango County Courthouse lawn. Just for fun.
"It definitely makes us happy that so many people enjoy him," said Ryan Vath. "And that he's kind of a community project. People always add stuff to him and it is fun to see."
One person who added something to this year's snowman is Venango County's visiting judge Thomas Kistler.
The stylish senior judge, who was brought in after Judge Boyer retired and Judge Lobaugh took ill, is known for his bow ties.
When he noticed the new addition to the courthouse lawn, he thought it would be fun to give the frosty dude his very own red bow tie.
So when hee found one, he replaced the scarf with a bow tie. "I figured everyone would know it was me," he said.
He then noted someone had put the scarf back on. Not knowing who built the snowman he was afraid he may have offended a youngster's creation. "I really didn't want to start a snowman war," he joked.
Turns out the judge's worries were unfounded. His bow tie was still there, hidden under the scarf. He was able to remove the scarf to reveal the bow tie for the above picture.
When the Vaths built the snowman, they forgot to bring stuff to "dress him up" but knew people take it upon themselves to add things.
Ryan said they have been building snowmen in the park for years, but because of leaves and twigs from the many trees, they relocated the courthouse lawn a couple years ago.
Photo courtesy of the Vath's
Jabob Vath after they finished their creation
"It's well built," said the Kistler, who noted the warm up and cool downs recently have made the snowman a block of ice. "He's going to be around for a long time."