About The Golden Snowball Contest and Award
Every year I learn something new about the golden snowball contest. Some of it I remember and will add it to the site. A lot of what I hear about the contest I end up forgetting before I can get somewhere to write it down. Sometimes I read different facts about it from different articles and try to figure what is what. With that said and remembering I’m not a writer, here is what I have learned the last three years about the contest:
It was started by meteorologists in Rochester back in the late 70’s and ended in the mid 90’s when the Rochester national weather service closed up shop there. One of the originators of the contest was Peter Chaston who I had the privilege of finally speaking to this year and received some great info from him about the contest. From what I have been told is the contest was for the snowiest big cities in upstate New York. I questioned about Binghamton being in the race thinking when I started the website that I perhaps made a mistake after I found and article that included them. I was told by two different sources that indeed Binghamton did win the contest at least once in the past.
Peter said back then it was a fun time when it was time to award the trophy to the winning city and sometimes it was quite the event with bands playing and large groups of people coming out to watch the award ceremony. Mr. Chaston has a bunch of ideas for the newly revived contest today. One of the ideas I like would be to have a signs made up to place in the winning city’s area that would say something like “Welcome To Our City – This Years Golden Snowball Champions”. One of Sean Kirst’s ideas is to name the Winterfest “The Golden Snowball Fest”. A good idea seeing how Syracuse so far is the King of the contest.
I’ve read different things about the old trophy. Some of the articles state that it was an old baseball trophy modified to put a tennis ball on top. Another article stated that it was a rubber ball painted gold on top of the trophy. If the picture I saw was the old trophy, I tend to agree with it being a rubber ball. Not that it is all that important. Rumor also has it that the original trophy was last seen during the time when the late Mayor Lee Alexander was in office. If anyone has any info on the where abouts of the old trophy, please contact me. I’d love to see the original trophy. The new trophy was donated by a local trophy shop in Syracuse which I’ll name here once I can find where I put the info : )
Several years went by without the Golden Snowball contest until 2002 when Steve McLaughlin and another meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo decided to try and get it going again. I know that Tom Niziol of the Buffalo Weather Service, now with The Weather Channel is another who is all up for the contest taking off again and was part of it’s resurrection. When I read an article and decided to throw up the website. In my opinion the revival of the contest is off to a good start gaining interest of more and more people each year. There has been many articles written about the contest by local and national news organizations. Even Saturday Night Live has made fun of the contest during their news segment on the show. That’s what the contest is about. Having some fun with it while winter passes by.
Syracuse has won the contest for the last 10 seasons. They own the bragging rights and deserve them for now anyways. Sooner or later they will be knocked of the snow pile and one of the other city’s will be crowned King of the Hill. It will be interesting to see which city it is.
Please feel free to drop us an email if any of what is written here is incorrect or if you have some good info about the contest to share. Email us at thegoldensnowball @ gmail.com and take away the spaces.