Boy Asks Town to Lift Snowball Fight Ban


05 December, 2018

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Cold, snowy weather has arrived in many places. That means young people are enjoying building snowmen, going sledding and having snowball fights.

But in one small American city, snowball fights are illegal.

Welcome to Severance, Colorado. The town, north of Denver, gets about 100 centimeters of snowfall a year. For almost 100 years, city rules have said it is illegal to throw or shoot stones or missiles at people, animals, buildings, trees, property or vehicles. Snowballs were considered to be part of the town's definition of "missiles."

Dane Best throws the first legal snowball in the parking lot of the Town Hall after presenting his argument to the town board trustees to change a law in Severance that bans snowball fights on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (Timothy Hurst/The Coloradoan via AP)
Dane Best throws the first legal snowball in the parking lot of the Town Hall after presenting his argument to the town board trustees to change a law in Severance that bans snowball fights on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (Timothy Hurst/The Coloradoan via AP)

Kyle Rietkerk works for the town of Severance. He said children cannot believe that it is illegal to have snowball fights in their hometown. He said town leaders have for years told the children, ‘You have the power, you can change the law.'

But no one had tried -- until now.

Nine-year-old Dane Best lives in Severance with his parents and little brother. He has made it his mission to get the snowball-fight ban overturned.

Dane says he believes the law is "outdated."

"I want to be able to throw a snowball without getting in trouble," he said.

Dane's mother, Brooke Best, told The Greeley Tribune newspaper that her son found out it was illegal to throw snowballs within town limits about a month and a half ago. Since then, he has been talking about how to change that.

Dane wrote letters with his classmates in support of overturning the ban.

And on Monday, he spoke about the issue at a Severance town meeting. Leaders listened as Dane presented his arguments. Then, they all voted to lift the ban.

Dane says the first person he hopes to hit with a snowball is his four-year-old brother.

Dane and his family have researched other Severance rules, including one that defines pets only as cats and dogs. Dane has a guinea pig, which appears to be illegal in Severance, too.

And that's What's Trending Today.

Ashley Thompson adapted this story for Learning English from an Associated Press news report. Hai Do was the editor.

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Words in This Story

sled - v. to ride on a sled (a small vehicle that has a flat bottom or long, narrow strips of metal or wood on the bottom and that is used for moving over snow or ice)