How it all begins….

Over the next few weeks we’re going to take a little trip through the history of Snowfest. We’ll look at some of the more interesting and unique things that have happened at Snowfest including a snowball fight and a rubber balloon parade as well as talking about all of the organizations that have helped to make sure this tradition has remained alive throughout all of these years. We hope that by giving you a glimpse of the past, you might understand the history we are trying to build upon with Snowfest 2020 July 24-26, 2020!

As with any story we need to begin at the beginning. With Snowfest, that beginning is the snow.

Looking back in history it brings us to a warm July day in Two Rivers. Work is going on with conservation projects near 14th and School Streets on the south side of Two Rivers. The workers were digging and about four feet underground they found ice, and then the most perfect pile of snow underground in the middle of July……

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Workers pose with the snow that they found in 1936 (Picture courtesy of Glenn Zimmer)

Well, as one might figure finding snow in July was big news and in fact became national news. The workers contacted city hall, and when staff there doubted them, they actually took some of the snow up to city hall. The city street superintendent Ernst Sontag went to the work site to check it out as well.

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Ernst Sontag poses with the snow (Courtesy of Gib St.Pierre via Life and Industry in Two Rivers Photo and Catalogs)

Well, once the snow found its way to city hall, a call was place to Manitowoc to discuss what had been found. When the mayor there didn’t believe Two Rivers leaders the snow found its way to the desk of the mayor of Manitowoc (we plan to try and recreate this, this summer).

Four young men, brothers Joe and John Shedivy, Leo Vieau, and Ed VanEss also found the snow when they were digging for worms when they decided to go fishing and they helped to carry the history of this great finding forward as well. They even got in trouble with their parents for their trouble as well as they were playing around in an active construction site after all.

As we have said, it started with snow, and boy did it grow. The snow that was found in 1936 then started something new in 1937…..Snow Festival which then came to be known as Snowfest.

Our next blog post will talk about some of the early versions of Snowfest and some of the really unique things that highlighted those first versions of Snowfest as well as some of the great traditions that have come to be part of what people know and love about Snowfest.

See you in a few weeks with the next installment…..The First Years of Snowfest.

Stop over to our online store to get your Snowfest 2020 to help support the return of this great part of Two Rivers History.


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