Meet the B.C. woman who built a massive ‘Snowgopogo’ on her front lawn

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While the Okanagan has Ogopogo, a mythical sea serpent that inhabits the Okanagan Lake, Quesnel, B.C., now has Snowgopogo — a giant snow sculpture that inhabits a local woman’s front lawn.

Vanessa Hildreth says she’s been crafting snow sculptures shaped like serpents for years, each winter making them them larger and more precise. 

This year’s edition has three humps, a tail and a head with eyeballs that glow at night.

Hildreth, who works as a horticulturist, said she likes spending time outdoors and the sculpture has become an annual project that helps her combat the winter blues, although there are inevitable moments of frustration. 

“You can usually hear me out there cursing on the lawn,” she joked. 

The statue of mythical sea serpent Ogopogo in downtown Kelowna, B.C. Last Monday, the City of Vernon in northern Okanagan passed a motion to return the copyright of the Ogopogo name to the Syilx First Nation. (Winston Szeto/CBC)

Hildreth posted a photo of her creation to a local community Facebook page and was pleasantly surprised by the positive response. Before long people began passing by her home in the 700-block of Vaughan Street to see Snowgopogo in person. 

She spoke to one senior who wanted to bring his 12 grandchildren to see it, telling her, “It’s not just for seven-year-olds, it’s for 70-year-olds too.”

Hildreth said the inspiration for Snowgopogo dates back to a trip to Disneyland as a teenager where she saw a topiary shaped like a serpent. 

“That impressed me to no end,” she said. “I thought to myself, ‘Someday I’m going to do that with snow,'” she said.

Vanessa Hildreth pictured with the Snowgopogo. (Submitted by Vanessa Hildreth)

Hildreth said the sculpture appears to have a struck a chord with people during the pandemic. 

“It was the right time for it right now because people have been so cooped up and don’t get to see that much happiness right now with all this COVID thing,” she said.



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