BY JIM LOCKWOOD
There’s no people like snow people, until now.
Plywood snowman decorations, with cutouts to poke a face through for selfies, will populate the downtown for the holiday season.
The invasion of the snowfolk, titled “Snow People Trail in Downtown Scranton,” is part of the Lackawanna County Arts & Culture Department’s winter festivities that include the annual county Winter Market taking place Dec. 6-8 under big tents in the 100 block of Wyoming Avenue.
The department recently issued on Facebook a public invitation to businesses, organizations, schools and artists to paint and decorate snowpeople for display around the downtown.
“We thought what a great idea and that it could be so inclusive for everybody, because who doesn’t remember building a snowman?” said department Director Maureen McGuigan.
The sheets of plywood sawed into 4-foot-tall snowman shapes are tailor-made with face cutouts for photos.
“Because we live in the age of the selfie, we thought it would be fun to do the stand-ins,” McGuigan said.
The plywood snowmen are free on a first-come, first-served basis. Several of the 50 available have been handed out.
Julie Esty of Scranton, a member the Dearly Departed Players who portray local notables buried at Dunmore Cemetery, created a snowlady of yore named “Snowbelle.”
Esty adorned her snowlady with a bonnet of fir branches and berries, a cardinal representing ancestors, a crocheted shawl from an 1860s pattern, snowflakes, a gold pin and a broom. “I could put her on any mausoleum out there (in Dunmore Cemetery) and she would look beautiful,” Esty said.
Snowbelle will be adopted by Bar Pazzo at 131 N. Washington Ave. for display there, Esty said.
The deadline to complete a snowman decoration is Nov. 15. The snowpeople will be displayed outside or inside businesses from Nov. 23 through the holidays.
A contest with voting for a favorite snowperson also will be conducted on the department’s Facebook page.
A winner with the most likes will win a $100 gift card sponsored by Anthracite Events. The winner will be announced at the Lackawanna County Winter Market on Dec. 8 at noon.
For information on the snowman-decoration program, call the county Arts & Culture Department at 570-963-6590, ext. 102, or email McGuigan at McGuiganM@lackawannacounty.org.