If there’s anyone you’d like to pelt with a snowball, now’s your chance.
Starting today, dozens of Southland parks will host snow events each Friday and Saturday for the next three weeks. It’s part of the LA County Department of Recreation and Parks’ Winter Wonderland celebration.
“Even though Big Bear is a couple hours away, most of our youth don't see snow, so we wanted to bring snow to our local LA County urban communities,” says Norma García-González, director of the Parks Department.
She says the fact that this snow comes from giant ice cubes — not falling from the sky— doesn’t diminish the joy kids get from playing in it. Children who attend Winter Wonderland events will also be treated to a stocking stuffed with goodies.
It’s all free of charge, and there’s an emphasis on bringing the white stuff to lower-income areas of the county.
Given the stresses of the pandemic, García-González says it’s a much-needed break for many urban families.
“I think our most vulnerable families have dealt with so much these last two years, especially children. To bring back the joy during the holiday season, just the ability to make snow angels and toss snow, have hot cocoa and make arts and crafts, is especially a blessing this year.”
Instead of trucking in snow from the mountains, park workers are making their own.
“Our teams go out to our parks and for three to four hours are actually crushing and creating snow from ice blocks. We've ordered over 40 tons of snow for each park location.”
In addition to saving money, that has other benefits.
“It lasts more than a day,” García-González explains. “We actually program our snow activities for the entire day. And especially during COVID, we want our families and our youth to enjoy snow, but we don't want it to be overly crowded.”
The snow patrol will be visiting 33 parks over the next few weeks in communities ranging from Whittier and La Puente to Littlerock and South LA.