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After what happened last time, Paul Larcom didn't want to sculpt another tauntaun. 

A few years ago, he'd created an intricate snow sculpture of the famous cold-weather Star Wars creature — only for people to mistake it for a dinosaur.

They often "were a little disappointed to find out it wasn't," Larcom, who lives in Becker, said.

So when brainstorming ideas for this year's winter art project, Larcom figured, why not lean into the dinosaur theme?

Which is why a 12-foot-tall, 23-foot-long, roaring tyrannosaurus rex can now be found in the Minnesota city.

"[T]his year I wanted to do something big," Larcom told Bring Me The News in an email, "so I thought I'd try a dinosaur this time and thought people might get a kick out of seeing it."

The Jurassic Park-esque T-rex, leaning forward with rows of sharp teeth clearly visible, quickly proved to be something of an attraction, with visitors stopping by Larcom's yard on Sherburne Avenue to snap a few photos with the monstrous creation.

Larcom said it took him about three weeks to build, then a few more hours to paint. For the legs, he packed snow around two large sticks, then used another long tree branch to support the sculpture from the inside, "like a back bone" running from the neck through the tail. A few sticks were also used in the jaw and arms.

"The rest I sculpted and shaped myself by hand with the use of a sculptors loop tool," Larcom said. "That's about it, no molds or anything else."

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Larcom has done nine or 10 significant snow sculptures before (though this T-rex is the largest). In 2019 he created an ice homage to The Dark Crystal series, and a decade ago crafted a "Han Snowlo" of the Star Wars character frozen in carbonite. 

He's perfectly happy if people want to swing by Sherburne Avenue (near the intersection with Central Avenue) to take a look at the tyrannosaurus rex. Pictures are also fine, he said. 

His one request? Be careful around the dinosaur, especially as it gets warmer, in case snow begins to fall from it.

"Other than that just have fun with it," he said.

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