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Daily interviews with a local focus airing at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Northland Morning.

Community Connection: Snow Sculpting with Harry Welty

A snow sculpture of soldiers erecting the US flag at Iwo Jima, under lit, pine tree and house in the dark background
Luke Moravec

Harry Welty got his start as a snow sculptor in 1987 when his young daughter asked him to make a snow dinosaur. It turned out looking more like “an iguana with a bad overbite,” says Welty. Regardless of the quality of the first attempt, the hobby stuck. Since then, cars passing by Welty’s home can expect to see a scene made of snow perched on the crest his Duluth lawn.

The subject of the images varies. Sometimes the result is a pop-culture fixture mixed with a message (like Baby Yoda or the Grinch with political signs) while other times it leans into one of Welty’s many passions: history. The current product is a slightly-larger-than-life-size replication of soldiers hoisting the flag at Iwo Jima.

Welty has honed his skills through trial and error. “A lot of people simply don’t see the error part,” says Welty. “People didn’t notice if it’s big enough.”

And when the spring comes, it all melts away. “I always know that people have a much more vivid memory of a much better sculpture after they're melted and gone,” says Welty. “I count on peoples’ memories to fade in that very, very gentle and generous way.”

Luke Moravec is the host for Northland Morning on The North 103.3. He’s also a local actor, musician and writer. He loves puzzles, riddles and fun mysteries.
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