FROSTY THE SNOWMAN WILL RETURN TO HIS HOMETOWN OF ARMONK ON DECEMBER 8TH WITH FAMILY FUN AND PARADE
The homecoming of America’s favorite snowman, Frosty, will be celebrated again this year with “Frosty Day” by his hometown of Armonk, New York on Saturday, December 8. Activities and fun-filled family events will start at 2:00 p.m. in town; they include a Main Street scavenger hunt, Frosty cartoons at the North Castle Public Library, and the Smith’s Tavern Open House.
The highlight of Frosty Day will be a parade starting at 4:30 p.m. that will begin at Armonk Town Center, go down Main Street, then onto Bedford Avenue and past the “Village Square” mentioned in the song. More than 30 local groups and organizations will participate with floats, lights, dancing, costumes and music to welcome Frosty home. Frosty then invites everyone to become part of the parade.
The parade will culminate at Wampus Brook Park for a gala holiday lighting ceremony. Since December 9th is the first day of Hanukkah, this year’s ceremony will feature the lighting of the first candle on the menorah at sundown.
After the holiday lighting, activities will continue with the annual Winter Walk and Main Street Open House; restaurants, merchants and businesses will welcome in the holidays.
Friends of Frosty, Inc., a non-profit group formed to oversee the day’s activities and events, will this year initiate a Winter Warmth project, “Help Frosty Help Others.” It will collect clean and gently used winter clothing, such as hats, gloves, scarves, mittens, parkas and coats, for those in need, at several locations around town. Donations are being sought for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Last year’s Frosty Day saw more than a thousand people from the Tri-State region welcoming Frosty home to Armonk. It was also named one of the “10 Best Things To Do” in Westchester County by the Westchester County Office of Tourism.
During this time of the December holidays, where several religions are symbolized in civic and educational settings, Frosty the Snowman remains a symbol of the fun and excitement of the winter holiday season. Ed Woodyard, a long-time organizer of the town-wide holiday event, remarked, “Frosty reminds people of the magic to be found during this time of year, for young and old alike.”
“The only thing that Frosty believes in,” continued Woodyard, “is kids.”
Located in the Town of North Castle, Armonk’s Historic District is the “Village Square” mentioned in the song’s lyrics where Frosty dared the children to “catch me if you can.”
The lyricist of the winter holiday classic, Steve Nelson, was a frequent visitor to Armonk after World War II from his home in nearby White Plains, NY. In 1950, he wrote the song’s lyrics which he put to Jack Rollins’ music; it was the same year that he was looking for land in Armonk on which to build his new home. Gene Autry recorded the song that year, making it an instant classic, following his earlier one of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
Life-long resident and community leader Becky Kittredge said, “It was pretty much common knowledge that Mr. Nelson had Armonk in mind when he wrote the song. Matter of fact, the traffic cop in the song who hollered ‘Stop!’ to Frosty was said to be based on the town’s former chief of police, John Hergenhan.”
Two years later, Steve Nelson moved his young family to Armonk, where he lived for the rest of his life until his death there in 1981. In 1957, “Frosty the Snowman” was recorded again by Perry Como, solidifying it as a perennial song of the season. This success was followed by an animated version in 1969, now seen annually on television.
“Frosty Day is an event that the town looks forward to every year,” said Robby Morris, a local businessman and board member of Friends of Frosty. “The whole town comes out for it. Just about every group in town is involved somehow, from the Town of North Castle to the Armonk Chamber of Commerce, from the religious institutions to the schools, from the sports and youth groups to volunteer organizations. It is a great time for everyone to come together and have some fun.”
Judy Gilmartin Willsey, a Main Street business owner and a coordinator of Frosty Day, agreed. “Saturday, December 8th in Armonk, New York promises to be a day full of ‘thumpety thump thump.’ We hope that everyone will join us in the fun.”
Please visit the Friends of Frosty Web site at http://www.ArmonkFrosty.com.