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Low temperatures, high spirits
Residents make most of wintry weather
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Emilie Cook and neighbor Nico Colombini, 6, slide down a hill at Roper Park. “We come here every time it snows,” said Cook, who lives nearby. - photo by NAT GURLEY

The winter weather may be a catastrophe for some, but for many local residents it means a day away from work or school, playing in the snow.

Brenau University canceled classes for the second day in a row, and students took the opportunity to sled, build snowmen, make snow angels and pelt each other with snowballs.

“We had a snowball fight yesterday,” said Tyana Luna, moments before sliding down a hill on a piece of cardboard.

Meanwhile, her friend Hunter Creswell joked about the size of the snowman she was building.

“You can tell I’m from Georgia. I’m not very good at this,” she said.

The group, which was part of the university’s track and field team, planned to play in the snow until practice at 3 p.m., after which they intended to return to the field near the school’s dormitories until the cold temperatures drove them indoors.

Across town, Fernando Barrera spent his day off from work doing the same things with his three young children in Wilshire Trails Park in Gainesville.

“We’re just going to enjoy our day,” he said. “We’re going to watch movies, play in the snow and that kind of thing.”

Even some at work enjoyed the weather.

Shannon Davidson, owner of Dental South, taking a coffee break near the downtown square, said there was no pressure for employees to brave bad conditions to come to work.

“If you’re getting your stuff done, we’re a little bit relaxed,” he said. “If you feel like you can make it in, come work, if not, you get the day off.

“I’ve got about a half crew today.”

Sara and Greg Venable took the opportunity to walk their 9-month-old bloodhound, Molly, and grab coffee near the square.

“We’ve got the day off work, and we’re enjoying the adult snow day and taking the dog for a walk,” Greg said.

When asked about the snow, they both agreed: “We’re loving it.”