More Than 8,000 Dive Into Snow To Set Snow Angels Record

Saturday, February 17th 2007, 4:44 pm
By: News On 6

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ Among the thousands of people frantically flapping in the snow Saturday in an attempt to set the record for the most snow angels ever made were parents, children, even snowplow drivers.

And then there was Pauline Jaeger _ who on her 99th birthday, was making her very first angel.

``It's fun,'' Jaeger said. ``I feel just like a kid.''

More than 8,900 people flapped their arms and legs on the state Capitol grounds Saturday in an attempt to reclaim the record, which was snatched away about a year ago in Michigan.

The Guinness Book of Records still must confirm the number. The snow angel category was created in 2002 when 1,791 people made snow angels on the Capitol grounds in North Dakota.

Marilyn Snyder, curator of education for the State Historical Society of North Dakota, said 8,910 people registered for Saturday's attempt to break the record of 3,784 snow angels set by students at Michigan Technological University in Houghton.

``That's more than 5,000 more people than what Michigan had,'' Snyder said. ``It's going to be tough to top.''

Miles Keeler, a city snowplow driver, took off work for about an hour to make a snow angel with his wife, Connie, and his 13-year-old daughter Kaitlin. Keeler, 49, who's bearded and burly, said it had been decades since he had made a snow angel.

``It's all in the spirit of competition,'' he said. Afterward, he said, he planned to plow Bismarck-area roads for 12 more hours. The National Weather Service reported 10 inches on the ground in Bismarck on Saturday.

Mel Schlittenhardt of Bismarck brought her three children, including her 5-month-old daughter. The infant even made a snow angel by being spun around in her car seat.

``I think this is a great opportunity to show kids how fun the winter can be in North Dakota,'' Schlittenhardt said.

Edna Arvidson, 84, of Bismarck, said she participated in the city's record-setting event in 2002.

``It's fun and puts us on the map,'' Arvidson said. ``People think there's nothing going on up here.''

North Dakota had planned to organize earlier in the winter, but had to delay the attempt due to a lack of snow. Michigan is keeping a close eye on the record, though _ and vows to try and snatch it back.

``That's phenomenal organization and something really to be proud of,'' said Paul Judge, a Michigan Tech biochemistry major who helped organize Michigan's attempt. ``I'm sure once their numbers are verified, there will be a quick reorganization attempt here to reclaim our record.''