Snowmen to invade downtown Rochester this winter

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published November 21, 2022

 Twelve 5-foot fiberglass snowmen, designed by local artists, will be on display along Main Street in Downtown Rochester this winter.

Twelve 5-foot fiberglass snowmen, designed by local artists, will be on display along Main Street in Downtown Rochester this winter.

Photo provided by the Rochester Downtown Development Authority


ROCHESTER — Downtown Rochester is well known for spreading holiday spirit with its popular Big, Bright Light Show, but this year, patrons will have a new winter experience to add to the magic.

This holiday season, Downtown Rochester will host its first Snowman Stroll, a public art event featuring 12 5-foot fiberglass snowmen designed by local artists and sponsored by local businesses.

“A lot of people are asking for new things during the holidays,” said Kristi Trevarrow, the executive director of the Rochester Downtown Development Authority.

The Snowman Stroll, she said, was inspired by the DDA’s past “Ewe Review,” a communitywide public art event celebrating the history, pride and spirit of downtown Rochester. The original Ewe Review took place in 2001 and saw over 46 sheep decorated by local artists and sponsored by businesses. It was so well received it was brought baa-ck again in 2012.

“It was super popular, so we did it twice. … People really enjoyed that. They loved having public art,” Trevarrow said. “To be on brand with what we are doing for the lights, we thought snowmen seemed appropriate.”

The Snowman Stroll will debut Nov. 28, with a total of 12 snowmen on display along Main Street, for the 12 Days of Christmas.

Artists were invited to submit designs for the snowmen, some of which were selected by sponsors to re-create on the 5-foot-tall snowman figures.

“Definitely Santa,” by artist Sam Bertin, of Grosse Pointe Park, was one of them.

“The overall concept is that there are three elves stacked on each other’s shoulders peeking out through various parts of the Santa suit, and then there is a note on the back that says, ‘Definitely Santa,’ just in case anybody was unsure about it,” he said.

Bertin, who grew up in the Rochester area, said his work tends to be “quite playful.”

“I like to use my work to make people smile,” he said. “I think the opportunity to put great art in front of people and make it accessible is wonderful. It not only gets people to the businesses downtown, but it sort of gives residents and visitors an excuse to get out and get around and see some good art. The more art there is out in the public sphere, the better the art can be.”

The snowmen will be on display along Main Street through Jan. 21, along with the Big, Bright Light Show. At the end of the stroll, sponsors can either keep the snowman or offer it for auction, with proceeds going to a charity of the sponsor’s choice.

“I’m really pushing for more ways to incorporate art into what we do, so it just seemed to be a nice synergy with wanting to add something new with the lights and trying to do something with art,” Trevarrow said.

The Snowman Stroll is presented by the Rochester DDA and Love Local Rochester. For more information, visit www.Down or call the Rochester DDA at (248) 656-0060.

Call Staff Writer Mary Beth Almond at (586) 498-1060.