All About Armonk

North Castle Daily News


Festive Frosty Weekend in Armonk



December 2, 2013

In the Village Square, on a cold, sunny afternoon that continued into the evening, Frosty the Snowman came alive. The children laughed, sang, paraded, and even had a snowball fight in the winter wonderland in front of Hickory & Tweed on Main Street. It felt as though the lyrics from the song that had been written by Steven Nelson 50 years ago in his home town of Armonk truly came alive.

During the parade, Frosty was escorted by former Chief of Police Bob D'Angleo, who said, as a young boy, he had been one of the many admirers of Chief Hergenhan; Chief Hergenhan is believed to have been the cop in the famous fairy tale who said, "Stop.”



Hundreds of children were delighted with the magical activities hosted by Armonk's downtown merchants. The children were decorated with Frosty, painted on their faces and finger nails. They ate cupcakes, cookies; puff pastries; popcorn; pretzels; and marshmallows, all decorated in the spirit of Frosty. Families enjoyed many different activities: They made ornaments; decorated hangars; carried Frosty balloons; watched Frosty cartoons; and went scavenger hunting. The activities culminated with the building of Frosty's parts by the children on a marching stick, which was painted and colored with sequences and markers. It was a friendly, festive atmosphere, and people were genuinely excited as they waited to see Frosty running around, wearing his magical hat and singing, "Catch me if you can.

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FROSTY THE SNOWMAN WILL RETURN TO HIS HOMETOWN OF ARMONK, NEW YORK ON NOVEMBER 30TH WITH FAMILY FUN AND PARADE

The homecoming of America’s favorite snowman, Frosty, will be celebrated again this year with “Frosty Day” by his hometown of Armonk, New York on Saturday, November 30, the Saturday of the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend.  The Frosty Fun Festival of fun-filled family events will start at 11 a.m. and continue until 4:30 p.m.  They include a Main Street scavenger hunt and various children’s activities at Armonk shops and businesses; Frosty cartoons at the North Castle Public Library; holiday decorating of ornaments and baked goods; the historic Smith’s Tavern Open House, featuring a lighted winter village; and a Holiday Sing-A-Long at the Gazebo.  

The highlight of Frosty Day will be a parade starting at 4:30 p.m. that will go down Main Street, then onto Bedford Road and past the “Village Square” mentioned in the classic song.  More than 35 local and area groups and organizations will participate with floats, lights, bands, sirens, dancing, costumes and music to welcome Frosty home.   Frosty will then invite everyone to become part of the parade.

The parade will culminate at Wampus Brook Park for a gala holiday lighting ceremony at the Gazebo.  After the holiday lighting, activities will continue with the annual Winter Walk and Main Street Open House; restaurants, merchants and businesses will welcome in the holidays.  Especially exciting this year will be the participation of the newly opened shops in Armonk Square which will be all lit up for the holidays.  

During the Winter Walk, children and their families will be able to have their pictures taken with Frosty, visit Santa, and enjoy a tractor-driven hay ride around town.

This year’s parade will be dedicated to Becky Kittredge who was “Mrs. Frosty” in the parade for the past several years.  Ms. Kittredge, a 37-year North Castle Town Councilwoman, former Deputy Supervisor of the Town of North Castle, and life-long resident of Armonk, died in August.

Friends of Frosty, Inc., a non-profit group formed to oversee the day’s activities and events, continues its Winter Warmth project, “Help Frosty Help Others.” It collects clean and gently used winter clothing, such as hats, gloves, scarves, mittens, parkas and coats, for those in need; bins are at the North Castle libraries, Byram Hills schools and Hergenhan Center.  Donation jars are available for contributions at stores and businesses.

Last year’s Frosty Day saw more than a thousand people from the Tri-State region welcoming Frosty home to Armonk. It was also named one of the “10 Best Things To Do” in Westchester County by the Westchester County Office of Tourism.

During this time of the December holidays, where several religions are symbolized in civic and educational settings, Frosty the Snowman remains a symbol of the fun and excitement of the winter holiday season.  Ed Woodyard, a long-time organizer of the town-wide holiday event, remarked, “Frosty reminds people of the magic to be found during this time of year, for young and old alike.”

“The only thing that Frosty believes in,” continued Woodyard, “is kids.”

Located in the Town of North Castle, Armonk’s Historic District is the “Village Square” in the song’s lyrics where Frosty dared the children to “catch me if you can.”  

The lyricist of the winter holiday classic, Steve Nelson, was a frequent visitor to Armonk after World War II from his home in nearby White Plains, NY.  In 1950, he wrote the song’s lyrics which he put to Jack Rollins’ music; it was the same year that he was looking for land in Armonk on which to build his new home.  Gene Autry recorded the song that year, making it an instant classic, following his earlier one of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Life-long Armonk resident Barbara DiGiacinto said, “It was pretty much common knowledge that Mr. Nelson had Armonk in mind when he wrote the song.  Matter of fact, the traffic cop in the song who hollered ‘Stop!’ to Frosty was said to be based on the town’s former chief of police, John Hergenhan, who just happened to be my uncle.”

Two years later, Steve Nelson moved his young family to Armonk, where he lived for the rest of his life until his death there in 1981.  In 1957, “Frosty the Snowman” was recorded again by Perry Como, solidifying it as a perennial song of the season.  This success was followed by an animated version in 1969, now seen annually on television.

“Frosty Day is an event that the town looks forward to every year,” said Robby Morris, a local businessman and board member of Friends of Frosty.  “The whole town comes out for it.  Just about every group in town is involved somehow, from the Town of North Castle to the Armonk Chamber of Commerce, from the religious institutions to the schools, from the sports and youth groups to volunteer organizations.  It is a great time for everyone to come together and have some fun.”

Judy Gilmartin Willsey, a Main Street business owner and a coordinator of Frosty Day, agreed. “Saturday, November 30th in Armonk, New York promises to be a day full of ‘thumpety thump thump.’  We hope that everyone will join us in the fun.”

Please visit the Friends of Frosty Web site at http://www.ArmonkFrosty.com for the latest schedule of events, for changes and additions.