Weather threatens SpongeBob snowmen

Kevin Haas

On Friday night, Dave King sat and counted cars, 94 in all, that he said stopped by his house to view the mini tourist attraction that his front yard has become.

King, a man who laughs when you ask him about his artistic experience, has earned himself a bit of recognition for taking the traditional front-yard snowman to a whole ’nother level.

With the help of his kids and a couple of neighbors, King built a nearly 13-foot snow replica of the cast of SpongeBob SquarePants, the popular Nickelodeon show.

“With ice sculptures you see this, but not with snow,” said Shawn Rosenburg, 27, of Belvidere.

King built the five-character snow sculptures for his children, but the giant snowmen have drawn the attention of hundreds of cars and daily foot traffic to his home on the 400 block of Whitman Street, neighbors say.

“(Drivers) were angling their cars with their headlights so they could see this thing at night,” neighbor Dale Horner said.

King used more than 20 cans of spray paint to color the sculptures of SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Gary and Plankton. He couldn’t even figure how much snow he used, he just took it from wherever he could.

“It was everything in my front yard, everything in my neighbor’s driveway, everything in my driveway,” King said. “We were filling the pickup truck full of snow and backing it up and dumping it.”

But the life expectancy of a snowman is short. As the weather warms up in the next couple of days and rain falls, King knows he’ll watch more than 30 hours of work melt away.

He’s already worried Squidward might take a dive.

Neighbors Josh, 10, and Tyler, 14, Andrews, who lent a hand with King’s project, saw the more traditional three-snowball Parson Brown topple Saturday in their front yard.

As friends and family see time running down on this year’s snowmen, some are already putting in requests for next year. The Simpsons or Lightning McQueen from “Cars” are among the most asked-for, King said.

“It’s got to be a tradition now,” King said.

Staff writer Kevin Haas can be reached at 815-544-3452 or