Friday January 22, 2016

Frozen pants: Minnesota man starts winter's latest trend

Tom Grotting has some winter fun by freezing pants and staging them throughout Minneapolis.

Tom Grotting has some winter fun by freezing pants and staging them throughout Minneapolis. (Tom Grotting)

Listen 6:08

When life gives you sub-zero temperatures, you make frozen pants. In fact, it's become an annual tradition for Tom Grotting.

Grotting lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and for the past few years, once the temperatures drop below freezing, he freezes pants and displays them throughout his community.

When asked why he freezes pants, Grotting tells As it Happens host Carol Off: "Well, it's so funny. A frozen pair of pants, are you kidding?"

Grotting got the idea from his brother, who set up a vignette of frozen pants outside his realty office a few years ago. He doesn't know why his brother froze pants and put them on display, but he found it funny enough to replicate.

"They're like little gatherings of pants talking to each other or meeting or watching something. Or walking down the sidewalk," laughs Grotting. "Two years ago I took a couple pairs of pants down to the local coffee shop and set them up out there and just left them there all day."

Frozen pants in Minneapolis

Minneapolis resident Tom Grotting freezes pants and stages them throughout the city, including near the parking metre outside of his office. (Tom Grotting)

Grotting has two teenage children who haven't embraced the pants freezing thing.

"My son's friends, they call them the 'fellas.' When the fellas come out they know it's cold."

When asked to describe the process for freezing pants, Grotting willingly shares his special process.

"Well, first you have to have all the raw materials. You have to have something close to below zero fahrenheit. Water. And pants. Pretty simple recipe. Dunk the pants in the water and pull them out of the water, and sort of shape them as they're freezing."

If the pants don't freeze in the exact position you'd like, Grotting says that's not a problem: "You can bring them in and melt them a little bit."

The whole thing takes about 30 minutes.

Grotting says Canada is like a mecca for freezing things and would like to encourage Canadians to be a part of the frozen pants trend.  So, when a gauntlet is thrown, As it Happens never backs away from the challenge.

Listeners can tweet their #frozenpants pics to @cbcasithappens, or to our Facebook page. You can also email us at And don't forget to use the #frozenpants hashtag.