As sightings of frozen pants spread across northeast Minneapolis, residents of places that aren’t Minnesota have turned their somewhat bewildered eyes to the trend.
Area residents began sharing photos of their own frosty trousers on the “I Love Northeast Minneapolis” Facebook group after a call to action from trendsetter Tom Grotting.
Grotting, a 61-year-old Minneapolis business owner, started freezing pants for decorations years ago, but it recently gained popularity after photos of his creations made their way onto Facebook.
Outside of the state, many were unsure of what to make of the trend.
Publications such as Esquire magazine wrote, “We already get it: It’s cold outside. We don’t need these pants to once again point that out. Please stop with the creepy frozen ghost pants.”
Huffington Post echoed the sentiment: “These Creepy Frozen Pants Have No Chill,” filed under the heading of weird news on the website.
Meanwhile, Jezebel announced that building snowmen is out, and freezing pants is in.
Twitter users have jumped on the trend as well, even in other parts of the nation. Some seem enthusiastic, posting frozen clothes of their own, but others call it “weird” or bizarre.
Grotting said his grandparents froze pairs of pants while he was on the farm when he was a child. “It’s a time-honored tradition,” he said.
Performance art could be the next step for Grotting, who said he hopes it can help promote causes such as awareness for AIDS or celiac disease.
In addition to their use as (occasionally disconcerting) decoration, one couple took the trend to the next level: freezing an entire child-size outfit to announce the gender of a child they’re expecting.
Benjamin Farniok is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for Star Tribune.