Wilson County icon from the 1970s makes a return

Jacob Smith • Dec 29, 2017 at 4:41 PM

Nearly 63 years ago, he first came to Wilson County all the way from Germany on the Polar Express.

After he was featured in a carnival for several years, he eventually found his way to the Floyd family’s front porch, where families would come watch him. In 1971, The Lebanon Democrat featured a picture of the icon among its pages doing what he did best, melting.

This year, after a 10-year retirement from his post, George the melting snowman made his triumphant return.


Jennifer Floyd found the snowman in her grandmother’s house. She stopped putting him out each year after the death of her husband. When Floyd found him, she was determined to get George up and running again.

“[My grandmother] didn’t think he was going to work,” said Jennifer. “He’d been sitting in a corner for so long she didn’t think he was still going to work. I plugged him up, though, and sure enough, he popped right up.”

Floyd’s family worked in the carnival business, and they got George the melting snowman almost 63 years ago as part of a carnival ride called the Polar Express. Eventually, the ride didn’t work anymore, but George was still functional, so they took him off and each year, they set him up on the front porch of their house.

Floyd decided to carry on the family tradition and set George the snowman out on her front porch at her home in West End Heights. Friends who grew up seeing the snowman every year asked her if George was ever going to return.

“Friends of mine were texting me telling me how ecstatic they were that he was back,” said Floyd. “I was more than happy to take over the tradition at my house and it made my grandmother super happy to see him go out.”

After more than 63 years, George still works, but he’s certainly not as spry as he once was.

“I think it’s funny because he’s a snowman, but I have to take him in at night or he gets too cold and won’t work,” said Floyd. “I try to get him out as soon as it gets warm enough, though. He’s usually out at about 4:30 or 5 in the morning.”

Jennifer wasn’t able to get George put up this year until recently, but hopes next year, she can get him out at the beginning of winter.

“We’re starting a new tradition, where people are taking their kids and grandkids out to see George, when they first saw him when they were little kids themselves,” said Floyd. “Next year, I hope there’s more traffic, but I’ll keep him up until about a week after New Year’s.”

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