Hundreds of People Take Part in Massive DC Snowball Fight as Winter Storm Orlena Batters Northeast

January 31: People throw snowballs during a snowball fight, organized by the Washington DC Snowball Fight Association, on the National Mall in Washington on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021.
Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

As snow swept into Washington, D.C. Sunday afternoon, coating the grounds in soft white layers, hundreds of people escaped their heated homes and ventured to the arctic streets –– to revive an old tradition: a massive snow fight.

The textbooks will forever remember this event as "The Great Snowakening Battle of the National Mall," the Washington D.C.'s Snowball Fight Association said.

Sunday evening marked the largest snowfall in D.C. since Feb. 20, 2019, when it saw a record-breaking 2.6 inches of snowfall recorded, the Washington Post reported.

The free, public event commenced promptly at 3 p.m. at Smithsonian Castle, at a park near the National Mall and lasted until 5:30 p.m., WTOP reported.

The event encouraged players to come prepared with extra face coverings, as they were expected to get wet "quickly." Most participants came prepared, dressed in ski masks, gloves, scarves and snow pants. Snow-hurdlers were captured hiding behind trees and even man-made snow forts, propelling balls of snow at opponents donning large smiles and flushed cheeks. 

In all, nearly 200 people attended the event, according to the organizer's Facebook page.

The massive snowball fight came not long before Winter Storm Orlena began battering the northeast.

The snowfall crept in across the Midwest and northeast regions, dumping between two and four inches of snow by Sunday, according to CBS News weather reports. And by Monday, the winter storm brought in over a foot of snow in the outskirts of Chicago, and three and four inches in D.C. and Baltimore, according to CBS News.

"The heaviest bands of snow extend from parts of eastern Pennsylvania into northern New Jersey, southeast New York and coastal New England," the Weather Channel said. 

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