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Snow Day draws big crowd in Watsonville

Modified: Monday, Dec 10th, 2012

Kids took turns as king of the snow hill in downtown Watsonville Sunday. (Photos by Tom Dunlap/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — Hundreds of kids and families descended on the City Plaza Sunday as Snow Day and the Holiday in the Plaza events drew big crowds.

"It's like the world's largest margarita maker," Doug Mattos said when describing how the snow is made and distributed for the annual Snow Day.

Mattos, Watsonville’s events director, said a company out of Paso Robles trucks in about 1,000, 60-pound bags of ice. They have a machine that crushes it, "and they have a bunch of people who are dumping snow into this hopper. And it shoots it out."

When judging the size of the crowd, Mattos said, "It's huge. It really benefits the community and it benefits Second Harvest at a critical time of year.”

The admission cost into the snow area was one can of non-perishable food that will benefit Second Harvest.

Watching the kids laughing on the snow or waiting patiently in a long line, Mattos said, "People in our demographics don't all have the opportunity to drive up to Tahoe for the weekend like you and I can. Some of them have never seen snow, and probably won't see any while they're that age. As you can see, this brings a real diverse culture down here.”

Also taking in the scene — which included the aroma of barbecue from the many food vendors present — was Watsonville Mayor Eduardo Montesino, who was standing by the snow, awaiting the arrival of his wife and three kids.

"It's beautiful, and for some of these kids it's the first time that they've seen snow," Montesino said.

The Watsonville City Council will swear in new councilmembers and choose a new mayor at its meeting Tuesday night. Montesino smiled and said it won't be him.

"I have no idea (who it will be). I wish I could give you that scoop," he joked.

The festivities continued with a visit by Santa, which was followed by the lighting of the 30-foot tall Christmas tree. It’s a living tree this year, and it will be planted at Pinto Lake City Park when the holiday season is over.

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