Among those delighted to see Hannibal’s first snow fall of the season Thursday was Mary Lynne Richards, assistant supervisor for promotion and planning at the Hannibal Parks & Recreation Department.
Richards’ delight is based on the fact the Parks Department is sponsoring a snowman-building competition.
“This year I’m hoping for snow,” said Richards Thursday morning before the first flakes started to fly. “We thought about doing this last year, but we didn’t have any snow to have a snowman contest.”
In order to have a better chance of encountering snow, Richards launched the contest in November.
“They have all winter to do it because it goes through the end of February,” she said, noting the official deadline is Feb. 25.
Rather than have people build their snowmen in one central location, participants are encouraged to make their creation where they want and then submit a photo of it online - email@example.com - or bring a print by the Parks Department office at city hall.
“I’d love to have a bunch of snowmen up in Riverview Park, but when you have little kids or a family, you want to make it in your front yard,” said Richards, adding that all snowman photos must include a real person to provide a sense of the creation’s size.
An assortment of prizes will be awarded for the biggest snowman, most original snowman and the snowman displaying the most Hannibal spirit.
“I think we’ll have some neat submissions,” said Richards.
The snowmen will be judged by Hannibal Mayor Roy Hark and members of the Park Board.
Richards is hopeful that the contest will prove popular.
“This is a fun, easy thing that’s free for people to do and show off their talents. I like the idea of people being creative about it,” she said. “I just encourage families and groups to do it. It could be a fun activity on a Sunday afternoon.”