Scenes from a snow day: Big snowball fight on the National Mall, sledding in Maryland

The National Mall was transformed into somewhat of a wintry battlefield Tuesday morning as people gathered for a snowball fight.

Snowball fight ensues on National Mall

Amid cancellations throughout the region due to a winter weather advisory, the Washington D.C. Snowball Fight Association issued a call to battle that turned the mall into a scene of pure snowball carnage.

Michal Lippen, with the association, picked the setting for the snow showdown. It’s a tradition in D.C. with the first fight organized by the association dating back to 2010, Lippen said.

“You’ve got a view of the monument one direction, you’ve got the Capitol the other direction, and the snow is nice and spread out,” he told WTOP.

The gathering happens in what Max Bluestein characterized as “polarized” city.

“A lot of anxiety, a lot of hate, a lot of ideology, we kind of put all that to the side once in a blue moon when it snows out here,” he said. “We pelt each other snowballs, and we act like kids.”

Dozens of people of all ages floated, zinged and whipped snowballs with some even participating in a quick fight before logging into work.

And it wouldn’t be much of a snowball fight without some shots to the face and some tears.

“Took a couple of my head, one on the nose and one where it was really sensitive and that one took me out,” Bluestein said.

WTOP’s Jessica Kronzer and John Domen contributed to this report.

See photos of the big snowball fight as well as photos from a popular sledding spot in Prince George’s County, Maryland, below.


One of the oldest homes in Bowie, Maryland, is also one of the most popular anytime it snows — the Belair Mansion.

It’s not your ordinary downhill run. That’s obvious as soon as you tried to get parents to explain just what was going to wear their kids out.

“You get three hills in one if you can get up enough speed ,” explained Alvin Holley of Bowie. “Just get to the top, sled down, and just keep going.”

“You have a couple of different tiers,” noted Leo Shane, who was there with Holley while kids race down in front of them. “You have a little one up here for the little ones to go down and bigger kids can try and make some ramps and everything. Lots of wipeouts without anyone getting too hurt.”

You can tell it’s popular because shortly after lunch the snow was already compacted into the grass, making it somewhat icy as kids rode sleds and inflatable tubes down over and over again. Everyone knew they had to get their fun while they can, since more snow days aren’t promised in the future.

“Snow comes not as much as it used to,” noted Holley.

“We were worried we weren’t going to get one this year,” added Shane. “It’s been a couple of years since we could come out to the mansion.”

And in the back of everyone’s minds, especially the parents, was that they needed to enjoy it all while it lasts, since everyone is likely back to school tomorrow.

“I’ve got to go to work, they’ve got to go to school, that’s how it works,” said Holley.

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Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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