The lines never ceased as Snow Day in Perris drew a record crowd of kids and parents eager to play with the cold and wet stuff by tossing snowballs, making snow angels of sliding down a manmade slope laughing all the way.
A crowd estimated at 1,000 people took advantage of the opportunity to play in the snow without having to pack up the family, put on snow chains and head for the mountains. Lines of up to 100 people waited patiently to take their spot in a designated play area at Foss Field Park on the City Hall Campus.
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch and City Councilman Mark Yarbrough joined in the Snow Day 2106 festivities. Busch chatted with many residents and posed for photos with families while Yarbrough spent most of the day pushing youngsters down the slippery slope on plastic slides.
“It’s nice to see that our City is able to provide this for our residents,” Busch said. “The kids are obviously enjoying it a lot. This City has a commitment to its children and youth—that is to provide the activities that are enjoyable and healthful.”
One of the youngsters Busch posed with was Oscar Sandoval, 4, who came to Snow Day with carrot he planned to attach to the snowman he wanted to build.
Yarbrough estimated he propelled 400 to 500 youngsters down the gentle slope, giving them the thrill of tobogganing.
“It’s nice to go the mountains if you have a chance, but a lot of folks don’t,” Yarbrough said. “I’m grateful that our City is able to provide these type of services for our community. It’s a quality-of-life issue. It’s great to be able to do this.”
City staff divided the snow area into two sections—one for children under 5 years of age, the other for bigger kids from 6 to 12. Parents escorted the younger children, snapping pictures and showing them how to make snowballs and snow angels.
Heather Cole and her sister, Julia Watts, brought their six children to Snow Day. It was a blast. Watts said her family takes part in many Perris-sponsored activities, like youth basketball and mommy-and-me classes. They enjoy those community events.
“The City of Perris is very well run and organized,” Watts said. “They reach out to help children in the community. As a parent, that makes me feel great.”
She came to Snow Day with her sons, Divine, 9, Ace, 7, and Grand, 18 months.
Cole attended Snow Day with her three daughters, Amaya, 9, Anaya, 7, and Alyssa, 2. Her family also takes part in community activities like the City-sponsored health fair, where Amaya took home a bicycle last year.
“It’s great to see the excitement in the kids’ eyes,” Cole said. “It’s thoughtful that the City goes out of its way to organize fun events for the kids. We really enjoy it, and we don’t have to drive far to experience the snow!”
Amaya did have one complaint after frolicking in the snow: “I’m cold!”
Tamika Marshall came to Snow Day with her daughters, Syncere, 9, and Eriahna, 7. She was grateful for the free and fun experience.
“I love it when you can bring your family to an event and interact with other people in the community,” she said. “The kids are smiling, they’re having fun. This is the stuff the community needs.”
She praised the City for organizing Snow Day.
“Perris is a small city with a big heart,” Marshall said.
Maria Heredia came to Foss Park with her grandson, Armani Guzman, 6. She hopes to see the event continued next year and beyond.
“It’s nice to enjoy a couple of hours knowing he’s having a lot of fun,” Heredia said. “Sometimes kids can’t go to the snow, so it’s nice that the City brings the snow here.”