Record snow brought record numbers of people to the Perris campus January 20 as the City celebrated its annual Snow Day.
An estimated 2,000 people—including some from Orange and Los Angeles counties—made the trip to City Hall so their kids could frolic in 42 tons of man-made snow and glide down a slope on plastic sleds. That’s twice the amount of previous Snow Days and it made big difference.
Long lines of children waited their turn for a place in the snow pits and for many what was a first-time experience, got to touch the white stuff up close and personal.
Some kids tossed snowballs. Others made snow angels. Some held the snow until it melted in their hands. A few even munched on it.
Perris elected representatives turned out at Snow Day 2018 and liked what they saw.
Mayor Michael Vargas observed dozens of youngsters enjoying themselves and said: “We’ve got to go bigger! This is awesome. It’s so great to see so many smiles on so many faces. I’m just glad that we can continue to bring these great events to Perris. It’s important that we continue to support our community.”
For Mayor Pro-Tem Malcolm Corona and City Councilman David Starr Rabb, Snow Day turned out to be a work day. Rabb picked up a shovel and broke large clumps of snow into powder. He and Corona spent much of the day pushing hundreds of kids down the slope on sleds.
“Snow Day is one of our great events and I am very pleased to see such a large turnout,” said Corona, who brought his wife, Mila, and son, Malcolm to play in the white stuff. “We’ve got more snow than ever—and I still don’t think it’s enough! We’ve got people coming from all over to enjoy the snow and the great weather. We in the City care about our kids. It’s great for families and kids to come out and have a great time.”
Rabb called Snow Day “always a great event.”
“It seems we have a higher turnout,” Rabb said, noting that construction at Foss Field Park prompted the change of location to the City Hall parking lot.
City Councilwoman Tonya Burke’s daughter, Jaylyn, worked Snow Day as a member of the Youth Advisory Committee.
“I’ve never seen this many people,” Burke said. “It’s terrific to see. You can see the joy in the kids—it’s almost like Christmas. For a lot of these children this is the only experience they’ve ever had with snow.”
Burke said the City is committed to sponsoring free family-events like Snow Day.
“Perris is family,” she said. “It’s the family place to be.”
City Councilwoman Rita Rogers brought grandson, Jordan, 6. The youngster always looks forward to getting into the snow. Rogers addressed the crowd, encouraging them to have a great time, enjoy the snow and maybe grab a hot chocolate from a vendor.
“Who’s ready for snow?” Rogers said. “It’s wonderful to see so many smiling faces. But don’t throw too many snowballs!”
Heading to Perris
Fullerton resident Bobby Zwierz read about Snow Day on social media and told his sister Stephanie Perryman, a Norwalk resident. Both packed their kids and took the one-hour drive to Perris. He brought his kids, Sophia, 6, and Sydney. 5.
“They’ve never seen snow, so it’s great to see them having a great time,” Zwierz said. “What a great city to do this for all the children and families. Perris a family-oriented and wants to make sure that kids have fun.”
Perris resident Tracy Sargent brought her family to Snow Day in a wheelchair. Her sister, Farrah Sargent also brought her children—Montrose, 13, and Montrice, 10. The trip to the Perris campus was all about making the youngsters happy.
“The kids are excited to be here,” Tracy Sargent said. “I enjoy the scene. It’s fun to see them play in the snow and have fun in the snow.”
Farrah Sargent said Snow Day fun would add to the birthday celebration of her twins, Tynesh and Tywan, who turned 12.
“They’ve been talking about this for a long time,” Farrah Sargent said. “Just to see their smiles and takesome nice pictures makes it all worthwhile. It’s a nice gesture from the City of Perris and I appreciate that it’s a free event.”
`They will find out’
Victor Villela moved to Perris from Santa Ana a year ago. He came out to his first Snow Day with his girlfriend’s grandkids, who like most other youngsters, have never before seen snow.
“The whole thing is for the kids,” Villela said. “It’s a great event. It brings snow to the kids who can’t get to the mountains to play in it.”
Villela said some youngsters who’ve never touched snow before might not know that it’s cold but “they will find out. They will find out.”
Nine-month-old Ethan Mendoza made his first appearance at Snow Day, accompanied by mom and dad—Irene and Josh Mendoza. Like so many others, the couple spent time bonding with their son and watching children savor a rare experience.
“I appreciate the City of Perris for bringing the community together,” Irene Mendoza said.
Josh Mendoza agreed.
“It shows how much the City appreciates kids,” he said. “That’s exciting.”