Frosty the Snowman is ready to make his journey home to Armonk this Sunday to be greeted by adoring crowds ready to usher in the holiday season.
North Castle is planning its biggest Frosty Day yet, the 10th anniversary of the annual celebration since the town claimed everyone’s favorite snowman as its own. The song’s lyricist, Steve Nelson, moved to Armonk a year after the hit song was first released in 1950 and remained in town until his death in 1981.
Robbie Morris, president of the Friends of Frosty, which organizes the event, said it’s easy to understand why so many families in town, throughout Westchester and beyond circle the day on the calendar.
“The whole day is about kids and about having fun,” Morris said. “It’s not a religious thing. Everybody can come and enjoy and have a wonderful day.”
This year, the festivities get underway at noon, a half-hour earlier than in past years. There will be about 50 activities throughout the hamlet, from miniature train rides and horse-drawn wagon rides to face painting, holiday ornament decorating, and cookie frosting. Children can also make their own Frosty the Snowman.
There are various musical groups that circulate throughout the downtown, including a kazoo band this year. The popular stilt walkers will return.
Morris said Frosty Day doesn’t cost families much. The activities and the train rides cost nothing and various merchants hand out free snacks.
“Everything’s put on for free by the community,” he said. “We’ve got sponsors to pay for all the other things, so it’s really a fantastic deal.”
For this year’s renewal of Frosty Day, the town will welcome a special guest. Patricia Fenwick, who grew up in White Plains, was the inspiration for Nelson’s lyrics, said Ed Woodyard, a member of the Friends of Frosty. As a young child, she made a small snowman after the first snowfall of the season but by the next morning she was in tears because it had melted, he said.
Fenwick’s grandfather was Jack Rollins, Nelson’s songwriting partner. Rollins told a young Patricia not to worry because the snowman will come back again someday. Her family contacted Frosty organizers about the connection and they will be making the drive from Ohio to attend.
“From those tears, Frosty’s song and story have delighted families for about 70 years,” Woodyard said.
The parade will step off at 4 p.m., proceed up Main Street to Maple Avenue and end at Wampus Brook Park for the tree lighting ceremony. This year some 50 organizations will be part of the parade, Morris said.
For those looking to warm up or rest their feet, stop by the Armonk branch of the North Castle Public Library, which will be showing a continuous loop of the Frosty movie from 12:30 to 3 p.m.
Judy Willsey, the proprietor of Framings on Main Street, said her Frosty Museum exhibit consisting of photos and memorabilia dating back to the 1950s has been moved to the library. During the past year, a collector of children’s book illustrations contacted the Friends that he had the original Little Golden Book Frosty the Snowman illustrations. Those are on display at Framings.
“He lent them to us and I framed them and they’re all hanging in our window,” Willsey said. “They’re just incredible. It’s that 1950s children’s book illustration style.”
For those planning to attend this year, the town will be closing off the one-block stretch of Main Street from Bedford Road to Maple Avenue to vehicular traffic for the duration of the event.
Town Supervisor Michael Schiliro said the one-day celebration takes a year’s worth of effort from a legion of volunteers throughout the town.
“It takes a lot of work to get sponsors and supporters and volunteers and it is one of the coolest things I’ve every participated in,” Schiliro said.
For more information on Frosty Day, visit www.armonkfrosty.com.