Fayette County

Lexington heads outside to play after Friday’s storms

Snowball war at Wellington Park

Lexmark employees, as well as other Lexington residents, enjoy a playful snowball fight in Wellington Park on Jan. 23.
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Lexmark employees, as well as other Lexington residents, enjoy a playful snowball fight in Wellington Park on Jan. 23.

Abi Beall packed the fluffy white snow into an oblong ball, turned slowly and chucked it in the direction of her older sister.

Direct hit.

Amanda Beall, 9, blinked as the snowball hit the center of her forehead just above her eyes. Her 6-year-old sister grinned and then sprinted across the snow-covered parking lot of Wellington Park on Saturday.

There was plenty of time and snow for Amanda to seek retribution.

The Bealls and their father, Doug Beall, drove from Richmond on Saturday to participate in the “Annual Lexington Snowpocalypse Snowball Fight” that had been organized on Facebook.

Nearly 50 people showed up at the park off Reynolds Road to obliterate relatives or strangers with snowballs. Others headed to popular sledding hills such as Shriners Hospital on Richmond Road to take advantage of the snow left by Friday’s storm.

The Lexington Snowpocalypse fight started several years ago but was limited to Lexmark employees. They had such a good time, they decided to open it up to the public by publicizing it on Facebook, said Mindy Antonchak, a Lexmark manager who posted the event.

Wellington Park, she said, was ideal for a snowball fight.

“There’s a hill and some trees, which means a lot of places to hide,” Antonchak said.

Ximena McCollum, a fellow Lexmark employee, greeted her co-worker Ania van Gessel with a snowball to the chest after van Gessel arrived shortly after noon.

But van Gessel quickly turned the tables and took McCollum down to the ground. Van Gessel raised her arms above her head as McCollum struggled and laughed beneath her.

Doug Beall was another of van Gessel’s victims.

“It’s dog-eat-dog,” van Gessel said, laughing. “That guy that I jumped on top of, he’s a manager,” van Gessel said referring to Beall. But there are no titles — and there is no human resources department — in a snowball fight, van Gessel said.

David Ware heard about the snowball fight on Facebook. He brought one friend but didn’t know anyone else there.

He didn’t care.

“I’m just a big kid at heart,” Ware said.

At Shriners, Christopher Cox, 10 and Konlin Brown, 11, strapped on snowboards and used a snow-covered culvert as a jump. The two have been snowboarding at Shriners every day since Thursday. Adequate snow to snowboard is rare in Lexington, Christopher said.

“Instead of reading, we do this,” Christopher said. “Because you can read every day, but you can only snowboard on days like this.”

Lucian Dearborn had to shovel his driveway so he could get his all-wheel-drive minivan to Shriners on Saturday. He’s got other shoveling to do. But before weather-related chores, he and his family wanted some weather-related fun, he said.

“That can wait,” Dearborn said as he helped his daughter Cecilia Jane, 3, put her left glove back on.

A little before noon, the popular sledding spot was packed with veteran sledders and newbies.

Tricia Brumley brought her two stepchildren because they had never been sledding. Brumley’s mother is from Wisconsin. She spent her childhood playing in the snow, and she didn’t want her stepchildren to miss out.

“We grew up sledding,” Brumley said. “I guess some people just want to stay inside. I don’t understand that.”

Beth Musgrave: 859-231-3205, @HLCityhall