Remembering another Winter Project from three years ago—and the day our dragon got its wings.

It all started the previous weekend, when Cincinnati got a dump of snow. We (myself and our three youngest) built a big snow dragon by working five hours on Saturday and three on Sunday. We named the snow “mithril snow” because it was so great for packing and we named the dragon “Snow Smaug.” Sarah crafted the head and face while the rest of us did the body. The dragon was big—6′ tall and 50′ long from nose to tail—but I kept thinking, “This dragon has no wings!”

Sunday evening ended with me taking pictures, and–on the advice of my oldest son who was living out of town–making a walkaround video. I added some pennywhistle music (by my wife, who was away all weekend) and posted the video to Facebook. I was glad that all six of us were involved.

It ended up being a very exciting week.

On Monday, we saw the number of Facebook video views had grown by the thousands. By midweek, it was growing daily by tens of thousands. People drove by and took pictures. The fun atmosphere reminded me of The Blizzard of ’78, when my brother Jerry made snow sculptures and my brother-in-law Tim and I made a big snow fort.

On Thursday, with the Facebook video over 120,000 views, a local TV station came out and did a segment. And I kept thinking, “But it has no wings!” (Thank you, Tom, for recording this.)

On Saturday at 2:15 am I heard noise outside and looked out to see four people dressed in black destroying the dragon. (“Am I really seeing this?!”) I banged on the window and they ran, jumped into a car, and drove away. Saturday morning we surveyed the damage; the head, back spikes, claws, and tail had been hit. We left it that way all day, assuming that was the end.

But wait! Sunday morning snow! We hosted an afternoon “dragon building” pizza party and friends (the Moores, Bruders, and Prices) came over to help. Sarah fixed the damaged parts while the rest of us—using ladders and corn hole boards for braces—finally finished the dragon.


It was a great run. The photos got many comments and the Facebook video topped out at 150K views. Then the warmth started to take its its toll. (But we like to think that he just went underground for awhile.)

All that snow had to go somewhere, so we went downtown to see the flood.