The baseball field at City Park in Gainesville showed the scars of three hastily made barricades, bare paths of dirt in the fresh-fallen snow.
Three children each wore a look of fierce determination as they filled their sleds with the snow and packed it into a low wall or into ammunition for their upcoming battle.
“We’re building barricades for a snowball fight,” 11-year-old Price Embry said.
Price said when he heard school was canceled Tuesday because of the weather he became excited about the opportunity for a snowball fight.
Eli Ligon, 11, said he and his friends had become practiced in the art of snowball warfare on their last snow day at the end of January.
The children had a practice snowball fight earlier Tuesday morning to ensure they’d learned how to pack the snow into tight balls and how to avoid getting hit.
“It doesn’t hurt (to be hit) since we have a bunch of layers on,” Price said, gesturing with gloved hands to his thick jacket. “We like to go sledding and have snowball fights.”
Price’s younger sister, 9-year-old Margaret Embry, said she has a lot of fun on snow days but she does get chilly after playing in it for a while.
“Later I’m making a fire,” Margaret said.
While the snow continued to fall in Gainesville, many people stopped to enjoy the Southern rarity.
Brenau University students Chelsey Brown, Quanesha Davis and Calonie Bolton also took their places in preparation for a snowball fight.
The women had already built a small snowman near the sidewalk outside of their dorm room on campus.
“I think a lot of people didn’t think it would be like this or that the snow would happen at all,” Brown said. “But now that it’s here it’s really pretty.”
Bolton said she planned on having some fun with the snow for a while before going back inside to study for her classes.
Davis said she expected the storm to continue today and was prepared to spend the day inside.
Ann Goble, of Gainesville, said she was preparing for the worst and was attempting to squeeze in some work at her art studio before making one last grocery store run.
Goble said she expected to be stuck at home today if the winter storm continued overnight.
While the weather does make certain things less convenient and somewhat dangerous, Goble said she couldn’t help but notice the snow-covered city is “just truly beautiful.”
Sherry Dale, of Gainesville, also said she enjoys looking at the snow but is “tired of winter.”
“Snow is nice but I’m worried about the ice,” Dale said, as she and her husband, Joe Dale, made their way across the wet downtown sidewalk to their car.
Joe Dale laughed and said the snow isn’t really as much fun as it looks from inside the office. The couple are retired and plan on staying inside once they safely arrived home.
“We don’t have to be anywhere,” Joe Dale said. “So we’ll just stay in when we get there, maybe take the grandkids out to play.”