Beloiters arriving downtown on Sunday morning were greeted by a 40 foot snowman, bedecked in his Beloit International Film Festival BIFF scarf and puffing on his pipe. The giant smiling snow sculpture is located at the intersection of Grand Avenue and State Street in the center of the city and can be seen for blocks. “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, which will have one of its first public showings at the Film Festival. BIFF opens its sixth year on Thursday, Feb. 17 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 20.
According to Dorr, “The idea for building the snowman was easy but could not have been done without the support of many businesses and hard-working friends. A big thank-you to City Manager Larry Arft and his staff for accepting the idea and allowing us to build it in our desired location. Thank you to Jim Heidt of Heidt Engineering, for his engineering expertise, and Steve Eldred, president of First National Bank and his employees for giving up their parking spaces.
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 –
Larry Diehls, Mark Flessner, Jeff Livingston, Doug Cash, Sharon Carr, Bruce Fernihough, Danielle Clifton, Sean Laughlin, and Dan Boutelle. Thanks everyone!! Thank you also to Bob and Todd Halderson of Custom Ditching; Gustavo Simenthal and Alan Herstad of Herstad Landscaping; Brad Ballou of Bill Ballou Masonry; Bushel & Peck’s; Bagels and More; and Nikki’s Café for food and drink.
BIFFY the Snowman will remain where he sits until the close of BIFF. On Monday, he will join Frosty and quietly disappear, having provided much pleasure and joy to the community.
BIFF 2011, sponsored by The Hendricks Group of Beloit in association with Beloit College and with a grant from Visit Beloit, marks the sixth year for the independent film festival. Approximately 140 films will be shown during the four day event, Feb 17-20. Information is available at www.beloitfilmfest.org.