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'Snow Day' draws crowds at Jennings Park

MARYSVILLE — Jennings Park became a hotbed of activity on a cold winter day Dec. 17, as adults and children alike gathered to enjoy the "snow day."

Franklin McKorkle was one of many kids who were on hand to engage in snowball fights with friends and their parents.

"The last time I was out here was Dec. 2, 2007," McKorkle said. He thought that might have been a "snow day" as well, which was a common answer among many Jennings Park attendees Dec. 17. "I like making snowball fights, riding down the hill and taking apart snowmen," he added, as his friends modified the features of a snowman that another group had made before leaving.

"It's wonderful," said Franklin's mom, Diana McKorkle. "They really deserve this snow day. It's an important part of their childhood."

When asked what those who didn't show up to Jennings Park that day might have missed, McKorkle said, "All the fun."

Marysville mom Kathy Kalab did double-duty on the "snow day," since she brought two of her kids and two of the neighbors' kids to Jennings Park that day.

"They like building snowmen and playing in our yard, but they also like sledding down the hill," Kalab said. "Oh, and eating snow. My daughter is eating snow right now," she laughed.

Kalab noted that the last time her kids were able to enjoy a day of activity in the snow was probably during another "snow day" last year, which left her with mixed feelings.

"I like taking the day slow and being spontaneous," Kalab said. "We don't have a lot of opportunities to do that, since we're so scheduled. My big concern is getting them all dressed and putting their clothes away afterward, to be honest," she laughed.

"The first time we came out here was last year, and the kids loved it, so we decided to come out today," said fellow mom Debbie Brunken Dec. 17. "It's fun to have the kids at home. I work at a Christian school, so we're closed too."

Brunken appreciated being able to treat her kids to safe fun "as a family," while the parents of 8-year-old David Samaniego were able to pass on familiar experiences to their son.

Samaniego's parents originally hail from Alaska, so they see playing in the winter weather as a part of their own upbringing, but Samaniego himself simply enjoyed the snowman-building snowball fights and sledding.

"When I go sledding, I get to go down steep hills," said Samaniego, who couldn't think of anything he disliked about "snow days." "And if I lose my sled, I can just slide down after it."

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