Michael Lipin is a GTJ staff member and the chief organizer of 2010’s giant snowball fight, the snowball fight last week, and the Dupont Circle screening of the World Cup.
The snowball-fighting spirit of Washingtonians is still alive! On Wednesday night, about 200 people answered a call to arms issued by social media, and turned up in Dupont Circle Park for a battle to celebrate the city’s first snowstorm of the winter. It was the first organized snowball fight in Dupont since last February, when more than 2,000 people massed in the Circle for Washington’s biggest battle on record.
The mega snowball fight of February 6, 2010 grew out of a Facebook group that I created weeks earlier to mobilize my friends for a face-off at the Circle, the next time a snowstorm would hit. As the February 6th blizzard approached, I thought it would be fun to try spreading the word to complete strangers, and recruited two of my friends from the DC Jewish community, Ami Greener and Denis Baranov, to lead a social media campaign. To our surprise, the idea resonated so widely and so quickly that 5,000 people joined our Facebook group in a two-day period, helping to create a spectacle that made national and international news.
Since I grew up in a place where it doesn’t snow (Hong Kong), any storm that brings a few inches or more of the white stuff to Washington gives me the chance to enjoy some of the fun that I missed out on as a kid. So as this winter unfolded, I was hoping that the battle of February 6th, and a smaller re-match that we organized four days later, would not be the last.
With the help of a new Facebook page, the Washington DC Snowball Fight Association, we sent out the call for Wednesday night’s rumble in the Circle at around midday, and were thrilled to see that people really did want to make this a Dupont tradition. The goals are the same as before: to bring community members of all ages together for some friendly, outdoor frivolity on rare snow days in the Nation’s Capital; and, in the process, to make the neighborhood a fun place to live, visit and do businesses. We hope you will join us for the next snowstorm, whenever that is!