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Snow sculpture becomes neighborhood attraction

For some, falling snow means building snowmen. But an Owensboro teen, getting attention for his works of art, resembling some of your favorite cartoon characters.

Some see snow as an obstacle, but Zion Riley sees opportunity.

"I just thought to do one out of snow because I know everyone from young to old could connect with it," he says.

An opportunity to build a more than six-foot-tall Mickey Mouse.

"Older people probably grew up with it. Younger people still see it on TV to this day," Zion says.

"I'm his mother and I'm amazed by his work every time," adds Zaneta Riley, Zion's mother.

Riley says it took him nearly 22 hours over two days to build the sculpture on Lewis Lane, with the help of his brother. It's become a neighborhood attraction, with some saying this one looks like the real thing.

"I think it's cool," said Ayrish Barksdale, whose family went to take a picture of the sculpture. " I didn't think anyone can make Mickey Mouse in the snow."

"We've had people stop by several times through the progress just wanting to see what he was making" Zaneta recalls. "It was a surprise, we kept it a surprise until he put the ears on."

This snow sculpture, made for you and me, the latest he's done the past few winters, if the weather's right.

"One was a wildcat," says Zion. "After that one, I had made an Olaf the next year." While this life size cartoon character made of snow brings some short term joy to people around this neighborhood, Riley says this also serves as part of his long term goal. That goal is to get a college scholarship for an art program. Riley adds he may build another snow sculpture this winter, weather permitting.

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(This story was originally published on January 15, 2018)

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