Dare to be different – Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth with John Shelton

How an Outsider Transformed a Community By Asking "Why"

by Cliff Duvernois

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Zehnders of Frankenmuth

Zehnders SnowFest

It takes courage to be different.

For 80 years, Frankenmuth was almost deserted starting in January and into the first few weeks of March. For small businesses and workers alike, these two months were a struggle just trying to make ends meet.

But it took an outsider, someone who wasn’t use to the “It’s always been that way” mentality to ask the question “Why”. There is wisdom is asking the question “Why”. Because no one really had a good answer to that question.

If there’s wisdom in “Why”, then there’s Power in taking action.

That’s what John Shelton did. With the help of some world renown ice carvers, they created SnowFest. And it blew away everyone’s expectations. So much so that 30 years later, Zehnder’s SnowFest continues to be one of the premiere Snow Festivals in Michigan.

But that wouldn’t have happened if one person didn’t have the audacity to ask one simple question.