Golden Snowball Anniversary

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15 Years of Fun Keeping The Snow Stats on GoldenSnowball.com

Wow, how time really does fly and it’s 15 fun years as of January 23rd of keeping the snow stats for the Great New York Golden Snowball snow contest.  The snow contest has been around since the 70’s and took a break in the 90’s but it’s been rocking since it was started back up again. I really have enjoyed keeping the snow site going year after year and meeting all of the people I have met over the years online. Thanks for being a part of the snow site and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do 😉

I will be adding a lot more to this by the way 😉

15 Years of Fun, Fame and Fortune and Meeting People

OK, the fortune part hasn’t happened (Yet:)) but the fun, meeting hundreds of people online and even a little fame has happened. I’ve had interactions with hundreds of people online if not more over the 15 years of keeping the snow stats for the Golden Snowball snow contest. Mostly through emails that I receive, comments that people leave on the website and through our Snow Group Page on Facebook which has grown to almost 800 members. The snow group is a combination of men and women from all over the country that follow either the NY Golden Snowball contest or the National snow contest, The Golden Snow Globe. I’ve met many people online that love snow and many others that love to hate the snow. It’s all in fun and I have enjoyed the emails and comments which have been mostly good but then every now and then I’ll get some that let’s just say entertain me 😉

Hey, I Even Enjoy Some of The Complaints 😉

The biggest complaints that come to mind is the location of the airports and why isn’t my city or town in the snow contest. OK, yes Syracuse does have the advantage with their airport being in Canada but get over it. It is what it is and that’s what makes it even more fun when a city like Binghamton, NY is able to beat Syracuse like Binghamton did last season. I think it was by 2 tenths of an inch. That was fun and what it’s all about. We know that Syracuse is the snowiest Big city in the United States but at the beginning of the season, I guarantee that there isn’t person on the planet that can say for certainty that Syracuse is going to win the New York snow contest or the National snow contest and I love that part of it 😉 Anyways, keep the emails and comments coming and feel free to join our snow group on Facebook. It’s a fun group :)

As for why your city isn’t in the snow contest there are two reasons. When I started up the website to keep track of the snow stats I kept the 5 original cities that have been in the snow contest. I talked to several people and the cities were Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse. Would I have a problem adding another city to the snow contest such as Utica? Probably not but as of right now Utica as far as I know doesn’t have an officially certified measuring station by the National Weather Service that I am aware of. There are other cities that are in the same situation. I did try to start up a smaller city snow contest several years back but I just couldn’t come up with any snow stats or if I did they were being reported maybe once a month. It didn’t work out.

How Goldensnowball Got Started 15 Years Ago

I started up the Golden Snowball website back on Jan. 23rd, 2003 after coming across and reading an article about the snow contest that was written by Sean Kirst that he wrote back in 2001.  This is the article by Sean that has been updated since.  WHILE BUFFALO GETS THE PRESS, SYRACUSE GETS THE SNOW. There is no doubt that Sean Kirst is the biggest reason the snow contest took off again and it’s been fun over the years talking to him about it from time to time:) It’s always fun when the phone rings and it’s Sean on the other end. That’s what the snow contest has been to me and hopefully all of you, just fun while passing the winter months away.

I started to research what the snow contest was about, what cities were in it back in the 1970’s, why it stopped and so on. I became fascinated with some of what I was coming up with while researching the snow contest and made a few calls. I figured the main person to call was one of the originators of the Golden Snowball snow contest back in the 70’s, Peter Chaston. I was lucky enough and I was able to track down Peter Chaston at a company he had out of state. Steve McLaughlin and another meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo Tom Niziol, also played a big part in getting the Golden Snowball contest resurrected again. You can read more about the origins of the Golden Snowball snow contest here on The About The Snow Contest Page.

The Local and National Played a Big Part in The Golden Snowball Contest

The media has been kind to our MY snow contest and also to the website. Sean Kirst has been the biggest reason for the Golden Snowball contest growing and also helping get the website noticed over the years. He has written many articles about the snow contest that people didn’t have a clue about including myself 15 years ago. There are many other journalists, meteorologists, news stations, etc that have played a big part over the years on bringing the snow contests and snow sites to the attention of people. Both local and National.

I’ve done many interviews over the years and believe me, I don’t do them well especially the live interviews. A few live interviews that come to mind are a couple that I did with Bob Joseph, Host Binghamton Now News Radio 1290 WNBF. I had fun but I’m sure I bored his audience to death 😉 Another one was with Stephanie Abrams and Mike Bettes the 1st week that their show started on the Weather Channel. Like I said, I don’t do live TV to well and I could hear one of my kids and my mother laughing in the background while I was doing the interview and said snowmans instead of snowmen. Yeah, it went downhill from there. Another one that I believe was live was with Tom Niziol from the Weather Channel a couple of years back. I had fun with that interview because Tom knows just as much about snow and lake effect as probably anyone else living. I tried to turn the interview on him during our sound check but Tom didn’t budge. That was fun.

Hanging With Sean Kirst, Dennis Nett, and Meeting Mayor Miner

One of my favorite interviews was hanging with Sean Kirst for a couple of hours downtown along with photographer Dennis Nett who were both with the Post Standard at the time. It was my Birthday and I went out the night before to celebrate with some family and friends. Needless to say, I could have felt a little better for that interview. Sean never really let me know exactly what was going to be going on but told me to meet him at the Post Standard which I did. That was cool in itself because Sean gave me the grand tour along with introducing me to Dick Case, his Editor, and several other Post Standard journalists as we waited for Dennis to show up. Dennis shows up and out we go into the cold with a ton of snow because it snowed a lot the night before :)

The first stop was the Mayor’s office where the Golden Snowball trophy was on a shelf just outside the Mayor’s office. I can’t remember if he had it planned ahead of time to take the trophy or if he talked the Mayor’s secretary into letting him/us take the trophy for a walk downtown. Either way, out the door we went with me holding the Golden Snowball trophy. The only reason I was holding the trophy was that Sean and Dennis were too afraid to hold it and made me. If you have ever seen the trophy, it is beautiful and has a glass ball filled with flecks of gold that sits loosely on top of the trophy. So here I am, walking down the slippery fresh covered sidewalks and roads carrying the trophy thinking about one thing and one thing only, don’t slip, drop it and break it. I tried several times to pass it off but to no avail. I was thinking of what Sean’s story was going to be the next day. The Oracle of the Golden Snowball drops trophy and breaks it. Luckily that never happened and Dennis got some really great pictures that day. My favorite was the picture below.

Picture of Golden Snowball Trophy in Snow

On our way back to return the trophy we ran into Mayor Miner on the steps as she was coming back from assessing all of the snow that fell, how the weight on the roofs of some of the buildings were and seeing what needed to be done. She graciously posed with the trophy and it was nice meeting her. She agreed that Syracuse should embrace the snow we receive and find a way to celebrate it and use it to the city’s advantage.

Yes, I am rambling on and will try to wrap this up. The day ended with Sean surprising me with an on-camera interview. Something they just started doing at the Post Standard and Syracuse.com and something that I really hate, being in front of a camera. It was Sean Kirst so of course, I agreed to do it and luckily he carried the whole conversation as I kind of just sat back and listen. That really was a fun day though and one of many memories of keeping track of the Golden Snowball the last 15 years.

I have so many memories that I could go on for days but I will spare ya’s 😉 This site is all about one thing and that is trying to pass a little fun along as a lot of us wait for the warmer months to arrive.

The Golden Snowball snow contest and the site still lives on because of 2 reasons. All of you who visit the website and hopefully enjoy it and also because of the folks in the news media that pass it along to their readers. Thanks to all of you and Cheers to another 15 years.

Have a Great night all and Thanks for the memories :)