COMEDY

Saskatchewan 'Melting Man' festival is Canada's answer to Burning Man

When fourth-generation wheat farmer, Tom Vernon, heard about Burning Man from his grandson, he wondered why Canada didn’t have a similar event.
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When fourth-generation wheat farmer, Tom Vernon, heard about Burning Man from his grandson, he wondered why Canada didn't have a similar event.

"If people are willing to pay $400 to hang out in that hell hole of the Nevada desert then surely they'd come up to Saskatchewan in December," said Tom. "And that's how we started doing this."

With the help of his neighbour, Wade, who acts as the director of logistics, Tom transformed his 2,000-acre farm into the setting for a two-day festival that culminates in the melting of a giant snowman.

Wade used his tractor to pile snow for the festival's centrepiece. "When everyone starts arriving, I guess there's going to be some art types who are going to carve it into a man," he says. "And then on Sunday, using some of them blowtorches, we're going to melt it, I guess."

But not everyone is as excited about the festivities. Tom's wife, Patty, doesn't understand what people are celebrating: "It's a bunch of freaks and I don't know what out there. It's happening, for sure. I'm not going to go out and protest it or nothing, but, you know, it's not really for me."

To find out if the big event is a success, and whether Tom should have provided washrooms, listen to the full story.