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Brooke and Mia Thomas pose with the 20-foot long snow castle the family made last week.

Dalton Family Sculpts Giant Snow Castle in Front Yard

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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DALTON, Mass. — Why go to Disney World when you can create it's most iconic image yourself?

With COVID-19 canceling winter break vacations, a Dalton family used the time to convert their front yard into a mammoth snow sculpture.

The work of art was made by Brooke and Mia Thomas, with help from their father, on Raymond Drive, taking a whopping 16 hours to create over the course of a week.

The castle theme was inspired by Cinderella's Castle at Disney World because the two girls' Christmas 2019 gift of a trip to the Magic Kingdom fell through because of the novel coronavirus. The artistic family is trying to stay safe at home, which made the project a perfect fit.

"I've made a sculpture for my daughters almost every year since they're born. They're about to turn 11. And so this year was the first year was that, hey, let's do something together," said their father, who wanted his daughters' names to in forefront. "And we also were supposed to go to Disney a year ago, that was their Christmas present from 2019. We still haven't gone so that's kind of where it came up like 'Hey, let's do it like a Cinderella Castle,' you know? Not just like that. But that's where we came up with the idea to do a castle."

Last year, he sculpted a Mickey Mouse for his family and noted that he sculpted a Garfield at the age of 9, making a local news publication. The snow castle stretches across about 20 feet of the Thomases' yard and is reportedly their largest creation to date.  

The project that was completed on Sunday began by snow blowing a large portion of the front yard to form the pile. The family then used masonry and rocking tools to scrape and sculpt their way through the snow.

Neighbors are reportedly enjoying the artistic addition to their neighborhood, stopping to admire the craftsmanship and snapping photos.  

"We're getting a lot of people driving by and stopping taking pictures and stuff," Dad said. "all the neighbors have seen us working on it."

Brooke, Mia, and their father have yet to plan their snow sculpture for next year, but he said they will basically have to do something, even if post-COVID-19 schedules don't warrant as much time at home.
"I don't know if we're going to be able to go as big as this," He said, adding that they look forward to next year.

Tags: good news,   snow & ice,   

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Berkshires Gets Limited Vaccine Doses; Named 'High-Efficiency Collaborative'

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — COVID-19 vaccine shipments expected early last week were delayed because of inclement weather and were smaller than expected, leaving Berkshire County shorthanded. And a "very limited" amount of vaccines was available for appointment first-dose slots on Wednesday.  
"This week, Massachusetts received 139,000 doses," Mayor Linda Tyer said to the City Council on Tuesday. "That's it, we have a million potential new residents who are eligible, but for the week we received 139,000 doses."
Public Health Program Manager Laura Kittross said there is limited access everywhere and doesn't expect this to be an ongoing issue.  She hopes to see additional vaccine allocations later this week and is "certainly hopeful for next week."
On Thursday, there were very limited first-dose clinic at Berkshire Community College from 2 to 5 with 300 appointments available to eligible individuals. The North Adams and Great Barrington vaccination sites will also hold first-dose clinics on Thursday, offering 250 doses each. All of those were gone by late afternoon on Wednesday.
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