Children and parents flocked to Locust Lane in Westminster around midday Thursday for a refreshing treat on the house.
The city of Westminster’s Department of Recreation and Parks offered free snowballs Thursday, giving residents respite from the heat.
“We celebrate July as Recreation and Parks Month,” said Abby Gruber, Westminster parks and rec director.
Gruber and her colleagues will brave the heat every Thursday in July to prepare and distribute free snowballs. They do it for the smiles, and “to bring awareness to communities about their recreation and parks programs,” she said.
“It’s what our department is all about, immersing ourselves in the community and spreading the word.”
One such event is the Kids Ninja Warrior Challenge, scheduled for July 20, for which the department “sets up two giant obstacle courses in city park,” Gruber said.
Last year, Gruber said, more than 500 children participated in the inaugural ninja warrior event, at which they can make ninja warrior headbands and do obstacle courses “as many times as they want.”
The department expects even more people to attend this time around, Gruber said. “Our events are no fun if nobody comes out.”
So as Gruber and her colleagues dished out Skylite, watermelon, spearmint or egg custard snowballs to eager children, she made sure to tell parents about upcoming events.
Children, however, had their eyes glued to the cool, sugary delights.
“They taste good,” said Finn Dowd, a young boy holding a blue snowball and flanked by his mother. Dowd got a Skylite snowball, and said it tasted “blueberryish.”
Aubrey Welsh tried a pink, egg custard snowball. She sat with her mother and little sister Mackenzie. “They’re very great,” she said of the snowballs.
Many attendees said they’d return again; some even said they’d be there every Thursday.
“We’re going to be coming every week,” said Ashton Johnson, who sat on the steps as he scarfed down a Skylite snowball with his friends Makai Brown, Jaylon Snowden and Amar Lanier.
Jackie Ledford fed her son, Cooper, a watermelon-flavored snowball.
“We love it,” she said. “We’re going to come every week.”