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Giant Puffer Snow Sculpture Attracts Attention

NEW BRIGHTON, Minn. (WCCO) -- A New Brighton neighborhood is now home to a new attraction made strictly out of this week's snowfall, and people are driving from all over to catch a glimpse.

In a lawn on the 2700 block of 16th Street Northwest is a blowfish nearly 5 feet tall.

"We call it Puffy the Puffer Fish," said Austin Bartz, who, along with his brothers Trevor and Connor, created the concept after a fishing trip to Florida last week. "People think we rolled the ball there, but we pretty much just shoveled it into a huge pile and packed it down."

They used snow from their yard as well as the neighbor's.

"It probably took two hours to get the main body done," said Connor Bartz.

The tail took an hour and a half to mold and attach. The spikes took another four hours.

"We took a cup like this big and filled it with snow, and then we take it out and put it on top," said Connor.

If you look closely, you'll see there's a surprise in the front -- a small fish in the mouth.

"We just put it in there for fun to see if people would notice it, because half the people don't notice it," said Austin.

When they finished with the fish, they weren't finished with the snow.  The boys built a viewing station for anyone who wants to stop by and visit. Cars driving by can slow down to get a peek.

At night, the boys even built a light stand, turning their creation into a nighttime display.

"They just come by and say, 'That's amazing. are you an artist?' No, no, not really," said Trevor.

With snow as a tool and a yard as a canvas, many can't wait to see the next exhibit.

If you want to catch a glimpse, the family says stop by, park on the street and stand in the viewing station.

Snow Day Puffer Fish
(credit: Austin, Trevor & Connor Bartz)
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