The good people of Buffalo are well accustomed to wintry snowfall, but last week’s lake-effect shellacking was extreme even for Western New York standards, with a record eight feet falling in some areas. (Full disclosure: As a native of Buffalo, this writer would know.)
Now, the region’s tourism board is firmly embracing the area’s reputation as a snow magnet. Visit Buffalo Niagara enlisted local singer Michele Marie Roberts to record “Let It Snow,” the latest in a seemingly endless line of Frozen parodies, but one that feels entirely warranted. Based on Disney’s mega-hit “Let It Go,” the snow-covered song-and-dance number blends Roberts’s performance with still photos of Buffalonians embracing the blizzard (and there have been some truly amazing pics the past few days). And it’s quickly going viral.
"People who aren’t from Buffalo have this notion that when it snows we are all trapped in our houses," Roberts tells Yahoo Movies. "And while it was certainly the case for a few days this week, there is so much more to us than snow (and chicken wings). We have outdoor skating rinks, winter festivals, great skiing just an hour from here and amazing people. People came out of the woodwork to help neighbors, friends, strangers with everything from getting them their medications to digging out their cars. So I think we embrace our snow reputation like champs."
After recording the parody (written by Karen Healy), Roberts and a film crew headed by John Paget took to the streets to shoot the accompanying video. “The storm started on Monday night and just kind of sat on top of the [southern suburbs] for four days,” Roberts explains. “When we filmed on that Friday, the storm had started to dissipate. We had to film the song downtown [which was less impacted by the storm] because in the areas that were hit hardest, there were still travel bans. A lot of the still pictures you see in the video are from those areas. After the snow had finally stopped and people were digging out of eight feet of snow, the sun was shining and we had 60-degree weather. Now most of the snow is gone.”
Roberts, a mother of two who studied theater and fine arts at Niagara University, beams with pride over her hometown’s ability to endure storms like the one they just dubbed “Knife.” As she puts it, “The point to this video was to show that we are resilient and can take eight feet of snow and shake our fist at it.
"Buffalo is my town. My life. My love. I’m proud to raise my children here. I’m amazed at the strength that Buffaloians show at times of hardship. They come out of the woodwork to help each other," she says before emphasizing the local catchphrase: "Buffalove!"