The temperatures soared into the 60s, but more than two tons of snow fell at the Snow Up The Park event to aid the sledding and wintery fun shared by the attendees, Feb. 21.
The event was held at the Swansboro Municipal Park and consisted of three snow-filled sledding slopes, a play area filled with snow, food vendors, live DJ, arts and crafts and winter survival techniques taught by park rangers from the Hammocks Beach State Park. Children of all ages played in the snow and received the opportunity to get their face painted.
Sledding cost $5 for each participant, but the rest of the event was free, said Anna Stanley, program supervisor for Swansboro Parks and Recreation Department. She added, there was a goal of 1,000 attendees and the expectation was met and exceeded.
“We designed it to be free or as low cost as possible to ensure maximum participation,” said Stanley. “January and February are our slow months, with not many programs or events, so we scheduled this to keep the community active. We definitely plan to make this an annual event so it will give everyone something to look forward to year (after) year.”
“The event was sparked when New Bern had one and Swansboro immediately knew we had to have one,” said Stanley. “It’s something this area has never seen before, so we thought it was a great idea. The area doesn’t normally get snow like we have recently, so it’s a great new experience for people who don’t get to see snow very often.”
David Culver, event attendee and former Marine, said he moved from the North where he was accustomed to the snow, but this event is great for Marines and their families new to the area, because snow is scarce in most Southern states.
“We stayed in the area after I retired, because the community puts together such great events like this,” said Culver. “These give everyone a great way to get in touch with the rest of the community, and have some fun while you do it.”
Dozens of volunteers were hard at work during the event which made it possible to keep the event very low cost.
“The snow is great; where else can you get it and also have 70 degree weather at the same time?” said Chief Warrant Officer 2, Benjamin Barron, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense officer for 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Division.
“We came out with our entire church to volunteer and give back to the community,” said Barron. “I think more military families should come out to events like this. It’s a great place to network and let their kids get active outside of the house.”
For more information on Swansboro Parks and Recreation events, visit www.Swansboro-NC.org.
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