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When you're known for molding snow into massive animal sculptures, a lack of the fluffy stuff can be a problem.

So before the Bartz brothers of New Brighton could build their annual snow sculpture this year, they had to find some snow. The 23-foot-tall snail was created with snow gathered from neighbors, area parking lots and ramps, and tennis courts.

"I watch the weather closely and was freaking out a bit," Austin Bartz said. "It was a tough year."

The sculpture came together at a snail's pace, but after 600 hours of work, Austin, Trevor and Connor Bartz unveiled "Slinky the Snail" on New Year's Day. Hundreds of people came to the grand opening event at the brothers' home (2777 16th St. NW., New Brighton) to have their photos taken with the snow snail.

This is the eighth snow sculpture built by the Bartz Brothers. Each year, their creation is bigger and better. The snail is more than 22 feet high and more than 30 feet long.

Temperatures are expected to reach the 40s this weekend, so the brothers expect Slinky will need 20 to 30 hours of repairs.

"I'm almost certain the antennas will fall off," Austin Bartz said. "Anything facing the sun will take a hit."

The good news is a snail that big will take a long time to melt. Last year's sculpture, a lobster, didn't melt completely until April 28.

If you'd like to get your picture taken with Slinky, the family asks that you come only between 8 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. They are also asking for donations to their fundraiser for clean water. Throughout the years, they have raised more than $58,000. Their goal this year is $30,000.

Watch the snail come to life: