August 3, 1998
Making a snow cone is one thing, but it also had to be flavored. Kurt Merryman (top, left) pours on orange syrup while the crowd at Maltby Mania waits expectantly. After Merryman and others finished building the nine-foot high cone, kids like Justin Leitch, 7, of Maltby (lower right) got their own sample of the icy, record- setting snow cone. Beforehand, the "Reptile Man" brought some snakes to show. Here (lower left) Robert Bennett, 4, of Maltby paces an 18-year-old African desert tortoise named Cruiser.
by Andrew Walgamott
MALTBY--"Attention! Attention! We're building the world's largest snow cone," announced the man behind the bullhorn.
But the crowd at Maltby Mania last Saturday was already gathered around the five-foot tall steel-reinforced cone in anticipation of photos, and an icy, flavored snow cone after crews finished up with the record setting entry into the Guinness Book of World Records.
As dozens of residents looked on, five people poured in sack after sack of ice, loosening it by piledriving it onto the ground and then breaking it apart with plastic-covered hammers, tire irons and their own fists.
To set the world record, a statistician kept track of how many bags of ice went into the cone, and crews were careful to keep from touching the ice with their bare hands.
Also, newspaper photographers pressed in for pictures which Guinness requires of the event to make it official.
The cone gradually filled to above the rim with 2,600 pounds of ice donated by Allied Ice of Seattle. Climbing onto ladders, workers molded the tip into a mound and then poured 10 gallons of grape, lemon and orange-flavored syrup all over.
Then, it was time to dig in and enjoy.
As kids slurped away on their own snow cones, East County Parks and Recreation Commissioner Perry Fry took a breather.
Asked how it felt to be a world record holder he said, "Tired," paused, then added, "and relieved."
He said the cone design, with re-bar donated by Theriault Industries of Maltby, could hold several more thousand pounds, just in case someone challenges their record.
Besides drawing attention to Maltby Mania, now in its third year, building the cone was part of a day of fun and games put on by the parks district at the Maltby Community Park.
The "Reptile Man," Scott Peterson, brought a de-venomized cobra, mamba, and rattlesnake as well as an albino python and giant African desert tortoise.
There were music, games, face painting and fireworks as well.
The parks district is an independent taxing district which has the same boundaries as the Monroe School District. They will be going to voters next year with a maintenance and operations levy.