Family cares for green dragon |

Family cares for green dragon

by Maggie O'Neill, Staff Writer

Like any animal, even a glowing green snow dragon needs daily love and attention.

The Weirauch family — mom, dad, 20-year-old Jen, 18-year-old Sarah and 10-year-old Victoria — mist down Lilly the Dragon with a spray bottle every night. This builds a layer of ice on her body for solidity throughout the upcoming day.

The family does about half an hour of work each night on Lilly. Her eyes are usually the first to begin to melt.

Lilly came to be after about five hours of work Saturday. Father Don and mother Liz are part-time woodcarvers and build a snow creation every year, as long as there’s snow.

“Snow is much more forgiving,” Liz said. “You build up everything that looks like a dragon and hack off everything that doesn’t look like a dragon.”

Started as several large snowballs, the dragon grew a long tale, wings, scales, and small horns. From her humble amorphous beginning, came Lilly, 10-feet long and seven-feet tall.

A three-foot dragon egg with a baby dragon cracking out was near the front of Lilly’s head, until the Weirauchs thought the baby dragon did not look like a baby dragon.

“It looked more like a Doberman so we (took) it off” Liz said. “So she just has an egg.”

Lilly’s coloring comes from several lamps with green light bulbs, far enough from her to keep her from melting like Frosty the Snowman but close enough to illuminate her in green light.

“(Don likes to say) ‘My father taught me everything I know about exterior illumination,” said Liz, referring to a line from the Chevy Chase movie “Christmas Vacation”.

The Weirauchs live at 971 Monument Peak in the Gardnerville Ranchos. They moved to Gardnerville four years ago, coming from California and Colorado. The company Don works for, Tower Structures, moved to the Johnson Lane area.

In previous years, the Weirauchs have built a unicorn and a baby bear and mama bear.

“We try to do one (sculpture) each year, but last year there wasn’t enough snow,” said Liz. “Lilly was very fun to make, and I wish more people would take the jump and make something else other than snowmen. Just chop away anything that doesn’t look like something you want.”

Sunday night, a group of carolers came and gathered around Lilly.

“(They said) ‘We sang just because we like your dragon,” Liz said.

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