Las Vegas Sun

July 29, 2014

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For kids, day off means time in the snow

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Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Home News

Taking advantage of his school’s snow day, Nathan Winder, 8, twirls on his sled down the hills of Anthem Hills Park Thursday morning.

After the snow

Ed Owens, left on grader, cleared the way to Anthem. Also on the machine is Clint Hall. At bottom, from left, are fellow city workers Darwin Barton, Ryan Minehan, Kurt Launch slideshow »

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When best friends Danger Gersh and Jake Newman, both 4, saw the snow falling on Wednesday, they had only one explanation.

"Danger thinks Santa brought the snow," his mother, Monica Gersh, said as the friends threw snowballs and built snowmen at Pecos Legacy Park on Thursday.

Jake wanted to leave his play spot and go check the family Christmas tree for presents, his mother, Rebecca Newman, said.

"He's sure the snow means Santa's here already," she said.

With their mittens and hats on tight, the boys laughed and played while the snow slowly melted away as the sunshine, sledding and snowmen took their toll.

In one small community near Pecos Road and Windmill Parkway, at least seven snowmen were found at homes within half a mile of each other. Some were short and squat without faces or decorations, while others towered close to 6 feet tall and were decorated with scarves, hats and carrots for a nose.

At many parks, giant balls of snow sat by themselves, left over from children and children-at-heart who had packed them together after the snow stopped.

Pecos Legacy, with its sloping hills nestled on the southeast side of the park, was a major attraction for teens looking for a way to spend their snow day, the first the Clark County School District has called since 1979.

"I jumped around on the couches when I heard," Jacob Fox, 14, said. "It's the greatest day of my life."

Many of the teens said they had been back to the park several times to sled down the hill and throw snowballs at each other.

"It doesn't feel real," Natasha Culbreth, 12, said.

While the students have the day off, the time will have to be made up, Clark County School District officials said, either through an additional day at the end of the school year or with a few extra minutes added to each day during the second semester.

Frances Vanderploeg can be reached at 990-2660 or [email protected].

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