Where it all began

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Lisa Hamm stops for a selfie with Lake Superior State University Public Relations Director Tom Pink in front of the remains of this year’s 46th annual snowman burning on March 18th to celebrate the first day of spring.

She had driven up from Mason, Michigan, the night before to see the ceremony, a first for her. When Hamm was attending middle school in east Texas in 1971, her mother, a teacher, brought home a copy of The Woods-Runner, a literary journal formerly published by Lake Superior State College PR Director Bill Rabe and the LSSC Unicorn Hunters. In it, she read about the college’s first snowman burning, which had happened earlier in the year.

“I loved what I read, ordered a unicorn questing license, and we burned an ice-cream covered snowman cake that my mother made for me. We flamed it with brandy.” Hamm and her family eventually moved to Michigan, where they have burned several snowmen in their yard.

She said she was very excited to see where the tradition began.