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Snowman to welcome G8 leaders' wives (July 3, 2008)

Makkari Village employees work to create a snow figure

Makkari - In Shiribeshi Subprefecture's Makkari Village - the destination of a scheduled visit by the wives of the G8 leaders during the Hokkaido Toyako Summit - production of a snowman was started on July 2 for display on the road in the village to boost the mood of welcome.

The light-hearted initiative, which takes advantage of the area's heavy snowfall, has been planned by village staff. Snow was collected at the foot of Mt. Yotei in April and stored in 50 containers in the freezer of the local Agricultural Cooperative.

The temperature in the village reached a high of 26.1 degrees Celsius as six village employees sweated to saw the blocks of ice-hard snow into 30-centimeter cubes. These were then carefully stacked to a height of approximately 1.5 meters to create a block of around a meter in width, which was then moved back into the freezer.

The wives of the G8 leaders will visit the Restaurant Maccarina in the village on July 8. On the day, the block will be removed from the freezer and sculpted by Makkari Elementary School students and village staff before being displayed on the village road.

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