Lighter than expected snowfall in Hall County didn’t stop 5-year-old Jayden Buffa from experiencing and enjoying his first encounter with the powdery stuff Saturday.
Though he was a little disappointed in the amount of snow he had to play in — asking sister Julissa Buffa why there weren’t any more snowflakes falling — he was ready to make the most out of what the winter storm brought.
The Buffa siblings live less than a block away from downtown Flowery Branch, where they were having a snowball fight near the red caboose sitting at the end of Main Street.
Jayden even brought out one of his Christmas presents, a blue Mustang control car, to play with and kept trying to make snowballs out of the ice as he played.
Jenny Bonilla and Elena Jarvis ran past the Buffas on their 4-mile trek around Flowery Branch.
Bonilla, a teacher at East Hall High School, said it’s a workout routine she sticks to at least once a week, rain, shine or snow.
“This is not snow,” she said.
Next to Crow Realty on Railroad Avenue, five kids played around in the snow. Kalia Jenkins, 10, stood on top of a bench and declared herself the queen of the ice. Her sister, Skye Jenkins, 9, and Riley Jenkins, 8, were with her.
The Jenkins siblings don’t live in Flowery Branch, but were visiting their grandmother who does.
They used the time to spend time making snowballs and wrestling in the snow with their friends and neighbors Kadence Leachman, 7, and John David Kelly, 11.
For most of them, it was the first time they were able to play in anything resembling snow.
“It’s really cold and my hands are freezing,” Kalia said.
The crew’s motto was to enjoy the snow while they could before it melted.
The McGuirt family had another reason for coming out and braving the streets. It was Miranda McGuirt’s fifth birthday. They came from Friendship Road to find some snow since they didn’t get any in that area.
“There was a light dusting,” said Kim McGuirt, Miranda’s mother. “I’m sure Northerners are making fun of us.”
Kim saw her friends posting photos of Flowery Branch on Facebook, so she gathered her family and came to sled in Flowery Branch’s City Park.
Both Miranda and her 9-year-old sister Morgan sledded down the hills of the park until they were worn out and too cold to go on.
The McGuirts were also joined by the Walters, who had been out in the wintery wonderland for a longer time. Beau Walters and Madison Walters, 4, were sledding down the same hills and had been there since morning.
“There was a big crowd this morning,” Beau said. “People have been out here all morning sledding.”
The Flowery Branch family kept their sleds from previous years in the garage for safekeeping.
“We finally got to pull them out this year,” Beau said.